Analysts suggest Windows 8 convertibles will draw back PC customers



Wired posted the above picture, showing the wide range of Windows 8 hybrid tablets/laptops which will be hitting the market shortly.

While there is a lot of trepidation about the reception Windows 8 will have in in the market, it does enable a wide variety of new form factors which may boost the moribund laptop market.

“I do believe the convertibles have the ability to draw consumer attention,” IHS iSuppli analyst Craig Stice says. “The question of course will boil down to price with these new convertibles and how competitive they will be able to be versus the tablet.”

Companies likeHP, Dell, Lenovo, Sony, Acer, Samsung, Toshiba, and Asus have all started pushing into this new category of convertible devices, with devices ranging in price for $700 to $1600, with the majority priced similar to an ultrabook.

“Hybrid devices will not drive the overall growth [of the PC market] as long as the price point is higher than the $700 range,” Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa told Wired. “When the price drops below $700, it will start picking up.”

The devices however offer instant differentiation from what Apple offers in the same high-end space, with Apple’s Tim Cook saying they will not be delivering devices with the same form factors.

“Anything can be forced to converge,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said during an investor call in April. “But the problem is that products are about trade-offs, and you begin to make trade-offs to the point where what you have left doesn’t please anyone. You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user.”

The renewed ability for OEMs to innovate and differentiate may just be what the PC market needs right now, while they compete with the smartphone industry for consumer dollars and attention.

“The innovation and breadth of PCs for Windows 8 is phenomenal, with all-in-ones, traditional notebooks now with touch, convertibles that enable new usage scenarios and tablets,” Microsoft told Wired in a statement. “There really is a Windows 8 PC for everyone.”

Intel found in a consumer survey that when consumers were asked to choose between a all-in-one desktop PC with touch, a clamshell notebook with touch, a convertible with touch, a touch tablet, and an notebook without touch,  75 percent chose the touch clamshell notebook as their device of choice, 44 percent also said that they would want a convertible, indicating consumer interest in the new style of devices.

“We think that a convertible done right is going to give people a good blend of capabilities,” Intel’s director of ultrabook marketing Karen Regis told Wired. “What we’ve seen is that it’s very appealing to a lot of consumers, we think there’s a play for business as well.”

“We think that this could be an inflection point,” Regis he continued. “We think touch is going to be important. It’s going to ramp up quickly in the PC space and that’s why Intel has gone out and secured capacity beyond the forecasted need.”

“It will create a good atmosphere in the consumer PC market,” says Gartner’s Kitagawa. “It shows innovation, regardless of consumers’ actual purchase intentions.”


  • GG002

    Tim Crook is defensive as usual… To converge a fridge and a toaster is a bad example, but say you converged a fridge and a TV, and that would make more sense. I’m completely in on this convertible PC trend! And Mr. Crook too will be eventually, just like 7″ tablets apparently no longare are DoA.

    • PutMyNameHere

      That is still a bad example. How about this example: Converging a tablet and a laptop?
      But I agree with you otherwise.
      BTW the reason convertibles didn’t succeed 10 years ago was because you had to pay a huge premium (at least $500) over a similarly spec’d laptop, and the OS wasn’t optimized for the form factor. Neither was there any dedicated touch-enabled software that justified the high price premium.
      This time pretty much all of those disadvantage have been eliminated so I think it has a high chance of succeeding.

      • GG002

        Yea, except tablet+laptop! I would totally have a fridge with TV/screen if there were any real ones sold around.
        The tablets of the past were also in no way touch friendly..

        • Meekermoloko

          LG made one about 5-6 years ago, but I wouldn’t recommend anything LG:

          It probably didn’t sell very well since they no longer make them, but if you really want one, I’m sure you can find one somewhere.

          I think Samsung makes a fridge with an Android touchscreen on it. Perhaps you can get a TV signal with that.

          • GG002

            Yes, I remember that one, but LG fridges don’t sound that attractive to me, and such a design isn’t mainstream enough to be affordable anyway!

    • Avatar Roku

      That is a bad example, it’s more like converging a refrigerator and a freezer. Those used to be separate things and some day you’ll have to explain that a tablet and a laptop were separate things too.

      • MarcSilverTriple

        And it doesn’t really prevent to have a bigger freezer as well… but the comparison here clearly makes sense.

      • GG002

        But those things are really obvious already, so I was trying to think up two things which have nothing in common (like Tim tried to do the wrong way) yet could still be interesting.

        • Tips_y

          Tim Cook was trying to ridicule MS so stop looking for a way to excuse him. It’s now turning out HE is the ridiculous one.

      • Wyn6

        Bravo! /slow claps

    • MarcSilverTriple

      Well, if you remember, sometime back, there was a guy called Steve at MSFT who were doing statement about the iPad and its future. Now, looking at Surface, it is clear that they probably understood the way it was going to happen even before the iPad was out of the gate.

  • The__Truth__Hurts

    To tell you the truth…….
    I have a friend who has an ultrabook & iPad. He is gonna replace both with a Surface Pro tablet.
    I have another friend who has a laptop & iPad. He is gonna replace it with some kind of hybrid device. (not a Surface, but something along the lines of an Asus Transformer-like devices)
    I have another friend who has an netbook, laptop & iPad. She will replace those devices with a transforming-like device as well.

    I’m replacing my tablet and laptop with a Dell XPS 12. (90% of the time, I need a laptop, and the other 10% I need a tablet)

    For a lot of people these “hybrid” devices will allow them to have fewer devices that can do a lot more.

    • MarcSilverTriple

      Apparently, only people who are using both are considering this. I’m in the case and I’ll replace both tablet and laptop by an Hybrid. The form factor is just making sense : no need for sync or multiple power outlet, just one plug to charge both…
      However, people who have only a laptop might be dreaming to replace it by a tablet. As without experimenting it, you may think it is possible. And they’ll come to the same conclusion…

    • Forc3

      To sum up your comment… Crapple and Froople will totally Fail and Microsoft wins because MS thinks before it throws something on the market! Its not about many Devices, its about ONE single Device!

      • sumedh kumar

        Very well said

  • Njoi Fontes

    Sometimes I wonder what takes these analyst so long to reach such obvious conclusions… I guess better late than never but I could have said this months ago and I’m sure im not the only one

  • Rikkirik Contrera

    “Hybrid devices will not drive the overall growth [of the PC market] as long as the price point is higher than the $700 range”. What a lot of nosense. These hybrids are not just PC’s but two in one devices, tablets and PC at the same time. The trade off is buying an expensive PC (say $900,-) and an Ipad (for $ 599,-), total costs $ 1499,-. Would you not prefer to buy a W8 hybrid tablet PC for say
    $ 1300,-?? I would, any time, any day, anywhere. Coming next year when W8 PC launches, nobody would really need to buy a tablet seperately, since every W8 PC will be a tablet also. Why would you waste money buying a cheap Android tablet or an Ipad, if you have an W8 PC???? Stupid question. People still seem to talk about the W8 PC as being an old fashion PC. W8 Pro convertibles are PC’s and tablets in one and will cost a lot less than buying these products seperately. For consumers, but also for businesses and enterprises this will be a key factor in investing in new W8 PC’s.The BYOD policy will go down the drain at a lot of enterprises, since W8 will help bring down IT costs considerably. A recent survey showed that 55% of IT managers will standardize their systems with W8 PC’s and tablets, 75% of these respondents worked at companies with more than 500 employees. This is what will drive W8 PC-tablet sales in the coming year. Microsoft is prefered in the business and enterprise environment to Apple and Google because of it’s integrated features, security, reliability and quality. Analysts do not have a clue what they are talking about

  • WillemEvenhuis

    Could be the case. It is not an unfamiliar formfactor.

  • Tips_y

    Tim Cook’s “toaster and refrigerator” comment was his way of trying to ridicule MS. Unfortunately what could happen is that he will be exposed as someone who is not a visionary and is also behind the times.