Several vendors will this week reveal new tablets running Microsoft’s Windows 8. Among those set to reveal their new offering at the Computex trade show in Taiwan is Toshiba, Acer, Samsung Lenovo and Asus.Several vendors that ChannelNews has spoken to in Australia claim that the launch of Windows 8 onto tablets will impact sales of Android based tablets. We have also been told that some vendors are planning to launch radical new designs including wide screen tablets that are “wafer thin” as well as dual boot devices.
Sales of tablet devices rose 26 percent in 2011, according to a Morgan Stanley report. It also says cannibalisation of PCs has been higher than earlier predicted. The company now says it expects 133 million tablets to be shipped in 2012 and 216 million in 2013: 57 percent and 122 percent higher than it had previously estimated.
The 2013 figure would see tablets outstrip notebook computer shipments of 215 million – if it happens, the first time tablets have eclipsed a standard computer type.
Analysts at IDC are tipping that Windows based tablets will be a bigger threat to Apple and their iPad devices than what Andoid has been in the past.
Asus is believed to be planning a dual boot device that runs both Android and Windows operating systems, the concept is being teased online at YouTube. Asus and Acer are expected to show new Intel-based tablets, with Tegra and Intel X86-powered models set to be released. Toshiba has opted for ARM processors.
Computex is the world’s second-largest computer trade show after CeBit in Germany.
The recent Morgan Stanley report predicts that Microsoft will become a key player in tablet market growth, possibly overtaking Android, and that price will dictate what sells – though this is certainly not the current experience, where Apple’s pricey iPad outsells everything, including tablets priced below $200.
The iPad grabbed a 62 percent share of tablet sales in 2011, Morgan Stanley estimates, though others have put it even higher.
Morgan Stanley said Microsoft’s prospects in the market have improved substantially. “Microsoft has made a lot of progress since our last survey with its Metro user interface, first introduced in Windows Phone 7 and included in the upcoming Windows 8 release,” its report says.
“Consumers, especially those considering their first tablet purchase, believe Microsoft Office is a key feature, suggesting Windows 8 with Office could overtake Android as the second largest platform in the tablet market.”
However this is before any Windows 8 tablet has gone on sale. In the meantime the iPad remains the No. 1 pick in business at the moment.
Morgan Stanley says 6 percent of US employers either purchased or subsidised tablets for work use and another 10 percent are allowed to access their corporate network with a personally purchased tablet.
A new breed of ultrabooks sporting Intel’s latest ‘Ivy Bridge’ Core processors will also be shown this week at Computex
Intel will officially announce the Ivy Bridge chips at Computex. Some of the touchscreen ultrabooks will be convertible, meaning the screen can fold back to turn the laptop into a tablet, said Intel spokeswoman Becky Emmett.
Lenovo showed a convertible ultrabook earlier this year, the IdeaPad Yoga. It ran a consumer preview of Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 and activated the touch-optimised Metro user interface when folded into a tablet. The Yoga had a 13.3-inch screen, was 1.6cm thick and weighed 1.4kg. Lenovo has yet to give pricing or availability for the ultrabook.