Apple's flash-buying clout seen as huge advantage
Apple is not only winning the tablet wars, it's already poised to beat out Intel's new Ultrabook line of tablet-inspired notebooks that are expected to arrive later this year. The Ultrabook is Intel's attempt to merge the instant-on features of a tablet with the power of a notebook.
These slim devices will likely compete with the MacBook Air, but they may have a pricing problem right out of the gate. The Ultrabook will include Core i5 and i7 processors as well as solid state drives. Apple has a competitive advantage in this area as it is one of the world's largest buyers of flash storage. It can leverage its purchasing power to knock down the wholesale cost of a solid state drive and keep the price of its entry-level MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models at a cool $1,000. Asus, however, may have to charge well over its $1,000 target price for a similarly spec-ed machine.
So which would you choose? A $1000 MacBook Air with OS X Lion or a $1500 Ultrabook?