Analysts predict PC demand to slump, as Computex 2014 gets in full swing.Still, the PC majors are reinventing its wares pumping out. Yesterday, we saw Acer and Asus announce new hybrids, smartphones and wearable devices.
Dell announced their new 2-in-1 Inspiron notebook/ tablet hybrid and a cheap all-in-one at Computex 2014 taking place in Taipei, along with Intel who unveiled new chips, which will go under the bonnet of a total of 130 tablets this year.
Dell’s two new hybrids – Inspiron 11 3000 Series 2-in-1 – have the options of 11″/13″ screens with 360 degrees rotation to switch from easel, tent, or laptop and tablet modes.
The 11″ Full HD (RRP US $449) model is powered by Intel Pentium quad-core processor, while the higher spec 13″ has a 4th generation Intel Core and stylus pen.
Dell has also unveiled a new entry-level Inspiron All-in-One PC – Inspiron 20 3000 Series with a 19.5-inch HD display, Intel Pentium quad core processor, Waves MAXXAudio and an integrated sub-woofer. It is priced at a low US$349.99.
PC shipments are expected to fall 6% in 2014, warns analysts IDC this week, predicting 296.3 million will be shipped, falling to 287.3 million by 2018.
However, Michael Dell CEO of Dell isn’t phased.
“Since post-PC era started, 3.6 billion PCs have been sold. Pretty good post era. I bet more products wish for same. Now post post PC era,” he tweeted yesterday.
Intel, too, was making its presence felt at Computex with high performance tablets and hybrids including the Asus Chi Transforme, the first fanless device based on a 14nm part, which are thinner than an iPad, based on the new Intel Core-M technology.
For Intel, personal and mobile computing, wearables, cloud computing and the Internet of Things are where its at.
“Whether it’s a smartphone, smart shirt, ultra-thin 2-in-1 or a new cloud service delivered to smart buildings outfitted with connected systems, together Intel and the Taiwan ecosystem have the opportunity to accelerate and deliver the value of a smart, seamlessly connected and integrated world of computing,” said Intel President, Renee James at a keynote speech yesterday.
The lines between technology categories are blurring integrated computing where all devices regardless of form factor are connected to each other and to the cloud, said James.
It unveiled a slew of goodies – Intel’s first processor that runs 4 GHz on four cores simultaneously – the high power 4th generation Core i5- 4690K and i7- 4790K, codenamed Devil Canyon.
Available later this year M is the most energy-efficient Intel Core processor ever. The majority of designs based on this new chip are expected to be fanless lightning-fast tablets and a razor-thin laptops.
This year Intel chips will power 130 tablets – both Android and Windows platforms, James said.
More than a dozen Intel-based tablets are launching in Computex this year. The first phone call on Intel’s first integrated mobile SOC (SoFIA) based smartphone was also demoed at the event.
“The transition toward mobile and cloud-based computing is unstoppable, said Loren Loverde, IDC Vice President, PC Trackers.
The PC industry continues a slow transition toward touch and slim designs, analysts warn, while tablet volume is expected to pass total PC volume in the fourth quarter of 2014.
“To return to growth, the PC industry is going to need to accelerate the shift to lower-cost, thin, and touch-based designs, despite the challenges it has faced with these designs in the past.”
Consumer interest in PCs remains constrained and price-sensitive, and demand for Ultrabooks remains modest.
The sale of Sony’s PC division, and Samsung refocusing its PC operations are other worrying signs for the industry.
Analysts say there are some positive factors for the market including – slowing tablet demand and steadying economies in the US and Europe.
The Windows XP replacement activity is also expected to remain a positive factor for another while.