Toshiba is betting that ultrabooks will finally start flying off the shelves in 2013 as consumers and businesses are tempted with a wider choice of price points.
Talking to ChannelWeb, Neil Bramley, B2B sales director for Northern Europe at the notebook vendor, predicted that Toshiba and its UK channel would enjoy high double-digit growth next year on the back of strong sales of the small-and-light form factor.
So far, ultrabooks have failed to live up to their billing as the saviour of the PC market because prices have yet to fall to a level that matches end-user expectations.
However, according to analyst GBI Research, the average selling price of an ultrabook will more than half between 2011 and 2016, from $1,050 to $510 (£650 to £315), as microprocessor and flash memory prices fall and production capacity for screens and casing rises.
GBI predicted in October that ultrabook sales will consequently boom from 1.3 million to 148.7 million between 2011 and 2016.
Bramley claimed that Toshiba is the UK market leader in the B2B ultrabook space, highlighting a 2,000-seat deal it won recently with a partner for its Z930 device.
He predicted that next year would see a proliferation in ultrabook price points.
"It is a very high-growth segment and will probably be the highest-growth segment going through to next year," he said. "We will see a wider range of offerings and price points across multiple fronts, be that 13, 14 or 15in devices. There will be an increased level of choice."
Toshiba has created a "new business corporate attack team" that will help resellers address the 500-user-and-above space with its Z930 and U920T devices.
This is designed to complement the Toshiba Means Business B2B campaign it recently launched, while resellers can also exploit a new channel rewards scheme offering additional margin, Bramley said.
"We are making some significant investment in organisational resource," said Bramley.
"We are working with our channel partners and engaging with end users to create demand for channel partners. "
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