Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Apple CEO Steve Jobs (right) looks at a display of the new MacBook Air during an Apple special event at the company's headquarters on Oct. 20, 2010 in Cupertino, Calif.
[JP Morgan analyst Mark] Moskowitz said that ultrabooks continue to be highly discretionary devices and that pricing for rival offerings must fall below $800 before posing a real threat to the MacBook Air. And beyond price, he said, other devices simply don't look as good or offer as much.
"In our view, Apple's first mover advantage and optimized feature set and form factor command a higher price that early adopters, productivity users, and Apple enthusiasts are willing to absorb," he said. "In contrast, we think that the first round of ultrabook offerings lacks the right blend of features and attractive price points to grab market share from Apple."
The MacBook Air costs $999 to $1,599.
I've been using a MacBook Air for several months now and it's indeed a superb piece of technology. I'm not sure how anyone could beat it going toe-to-toe. That "below $800" projection for the future competition is notable. It would have to be well under $800!
The trick of course will be to offer an ultrabook at the right (low) price that packs in much more functionality than a netbook. And I think that trick will be...tricky. Undercut the MacBook Air by as much as $250-$300? And provide a similar user experience? I can't wait to see who rises to that challenge.