Sat, Apr 27, 2013 - Page 13 News List

PCs are irreplaceable, but innovation is vital: IDC

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Faced with the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets, PC vendors have to consider developing products that can interact across devices, platforms and ecosystems, US-based International Data Corp (IDC) said yesterday.

IDC forecast that global shipments of desktops and laptops would see a single-digit percentage decline this year, as consumers shift focus to mobile devices.

“HP [Hewlett-Packard] and Dell are struggling to keep their competitiveness in the PC market for the same reason: They both confronted threats from strong demand for smartphones and tablets,” IDC mobile device tracker program manager Ryan Reith said on the sidelines of a market briefing.

“The key challenge to most of the world’s notebook or desktop vendors is whether they could design innovative products that could extend shortening product cycles,” he added.

With fast processors, enough applications, sufficient memory for data storage and suitable displays, tablet products are becoming more popular with consumers than notebooks, Reith said.

However, it is impossible for tablets to completely replace notebooks and desktops, which have keyboards that enhance their productivity, he said.

In this regard, Reith told the Taipei Times that he holds a positive view on Asustek Computer Inc’s (華碩) invention of detachable notebooks — the Eee Pad Transformer series — which have keyboards.

The different operating systems on offer for various tablets pose another problem for consumers in terms of data storage and user interface, Reith said, suggesting that system developers and hardware designers should integrate different platforms or create new products that interact with each other’s operating systems.

“Software and hardware developers need to see the market as a whole, not in pieces. They should all adapt to mobility, while keeping in mind that PCs will still stay in the market as they still can provide a certain degree of productivity to users,” he said.

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