BYOD policies stifling Ultrabook sales, claims Intel

Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1

Intel claims that employees who are being offered the choice of bringing their own devices to work have not been investing in laptops.

Rob Sheppard, business client product manager at Intel in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) has acknowledged that it needs to work harder to make Ultrabooks a success in the enterprise environment and prevent legacy devices from being cannibalised by tablets and smartphones.

"BYOD is happening with phones and tablets [not] with PCs. The idea that business would give [money] to users to buy a PC that's not happening," he told journalists at an Intel event in London.

"There are too many complications around it especially when you start to look at things like tax [and] purchase costs."

Sheppard claimed that Intel's strategy was to initially focus on the consumer market, but he acknowledged that the chip maker needed to work harder in the business market as there are only a dozen enterprise-friendly devices.

"The business designs are behind consumer, that's not surprising because you need to put more effort and energy into designing and building for [the enterprise]," he continued.

"Ultrabook [sales] are actually growing in terms of the overall market. We expect to see a significant growth this year."

In terms of features in business Ultrabooks, Intel has setting a base level spec, but has been leaving specification choices such as ports down to individual OEMs.

It doesn't appear that Intel is going to force the Thunderbolt connectivity, which it co-developed with Apple, onto OEMs anytime soon either as Sheppard recognised that demand is low at this stage.

Although Intel has not released any sales figures analysts cut sales estimates at the end of last year. IHS iSuppli had initially predicted that 22 million Ultrabooks would ship by the end of 2012, but in October this forecast was slashed to 10.3 million units.

It remains to be seen whether the inclusion of touch screen panels, all-day battery life and lower pricing will attract businesses throughout 2013.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.