Computer makers expected to sell 22 million Ultrabooks in 2012. Maybe we should say “hoped” to sell.

A report in the US edition of Computerworld says the industry is on track to ship less than half the earlier estimate: 10.3 million units. A huge miss by any standards.

It gets worse. The expectation was sales, the second figure is units shipped. A shipped computer is not a sold computer.

Next year doesn’t look any better. Analysts at IHS iSuppli told Computerworld they cut the forecast for 2013 sales from 61 million to 44 million.

Instead of saving the PC business, the Ultrabook may prove to be the PC industry’s last stand as we head for a post-PC era. Tablets – mainly the iPad – and smartphones are now the main game.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Tablets and smartphones mean nobody needs more than one PC any more. People are so much jettisoning PCs as not getting a second, mobile PC.

Ultrabooks have their charms. I spent some happy times early this year with the Acer Aspire S3. While the Aspire S3 is a great lightweight portable computer, I simply can’t justify buying one when I already have a desktop, a tablet and a smartphone.

There’s one other thing. Ultrabooks are relatively expensive – prices in New Zealand start at around $1000 and the models start to get interesting at around $1400. You can get a lot of tablet for that money.

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