Increasingly, the problem with new technology ideas is that marketers think of it more highly than the customers do. This leads to, first wrongly determining the specs of a product that is based on a given technology, and thereafter wrongly promoting, placing or pricing it.

Yes, despite all the talk that the four ‘C’s of consumer, cost, communication and convenience ought to drive marketing, the fact remains that the older 4P mindset refuses to leave the driving seat.

Ultrabooks, which have been around for a little over a year, come across as a striking example of a technology idea that has failed to live up to its market potential, majorly because consumers at large have found the pricing to be unacceptable.

In an era where consumers have been used to seeing smart phones and tablets get sleeker, trendier and faster at little extra premium, the logic of paying hefty premiums for notebooks that also toe the same line but are increasingly less indispensable is hard to see.

No wonder then that vendors face the risk of falling into a trough—that of having a piled-up inventory of unsold ultrabooks while newer generations of the devices get shipped.

Corrective measures have been long overdue and that has caused consumers to drift further and more actively consider the tablet options that get richer with each passing launch.

Ultrabook marketers seem to be realizing this but at an insufficient pace. That, in an ultra-paced converging ICT market place could be detrimental to long-term growth of the segment. Is a false belief that consumers will defy price/cost logic and come to pay a premium for ‘ultra’ books holding marketers back?

As we have reasoned above, the tablet-age consumers could see logic in paying only an incremental cost for the ultra-books over the regular note-books, so pricing must start its descend to meet that cost on a common ground. Of course, the industry will have to do innovations in the supply-chain and other fronts to make it viable.

In the meantime, the price of an ultrabook should cease to be exponentially proportionally to the thinness it achieves. More so because ultrabooks were brought in to catalyze growth in a segment pressured by rising consumer preference for tablets. 

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