In his Computex keynote, Intel executive veep Tom Killroy pinned part of the blame for the downturn on Microsoft, saying that the modest Windows 8 launch meant the PC market got “a shot in the arm” one year too late. However, Killroy still believes that 80 percent of laptop owners will replace their device with another laptop, despite the fact that many of them already have tablets, The Telegraph reports.
Speaking of shots in the arm, or ARM, the PC market is indeed starting to resemble a heroin addict. It is desperate and always in need of a new fix, a new OS, new games that will push demand for GPUs, cheaper SSDs and it depends on a number of external factors. The tablet market is much more dynamic. It has yet to mature and it is a lot easier to peddle upgrades, at least for now.
However, Killroy also sees the tablet boom as an opportunity. He reckons the new wave of hybrid two-in-one devices such as the Lenovo Yoga could turn things around.
“The days of carrying around a smartphone a tablet and a notebook are numbered – the discrete tablet as we know it will go by the wayside and the 2-in-1 will be the future. If you’re doing content creation it just doesn’t happen on the phone,” he said.
Killroy does have a valid point. Cash strapped consumers can’t be expected to stick to two-year upgrade cycles if they are buying a whole range of pricey devices instead of one. Convergence could be the logical outcome, but for the time being hybrids that could offer tablet-like mobility and pricing with the CPU muscle of proper ultrabooks are not even on the drawing board.