Look at the Amazon US Best Sellers list and wish list. Laptops are few and far between in this and similar buy/wish/trend lists and it echoes what we see on Ultrabooknews. The market for Ultrabooks has been flat for the last three months. Today I see that PC sales are projected to fall for the first time in a very long time.
Yesterday evening I put together a Vodcast on the topic and spoke about the issues and the Windows 8 opportunity. I’ve included more detail in the article below. Video also embedded below.
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A tight economic position, increasingly interesting and disruptive ARM-based tablets, Windows 8 and even Ultrabooks themselves have put the brakes on the market. In the video below I talk about this and highlight the four major changes coming soon that could revive the market. The changes are the biggest that the PC market has ever gone through.
- New Operating System. Windows 8 is the first Windows OS that reaches out to consumers. It adds features like touch support, a new app store and better power control to make a system that has a huge dynamic range of use cases.
- New design philosophy. Ultrabooks and netbook, or lets just say Atom and Core-based mobile PCs, are about to go through a big change in design and touch more parts of the market because for the first time, the OS and compute platform truly supports new form factors, sensors, touch and NFC.
- The app opportunity. The upgrade wave is likely to put a new app platform, store and monetization model in front of hundreds of millions of customers over the next year which, combined with the changes in PC design, creates a unique opportunity for software developers. You might even see developers focusing on Win 8 Metro/Modern apps before attending to tablet versions of their Android smartphone apps. The opportunity is huge and, as we’ve seen on smarpthones and tablets, it’s a critical part of the equation for a successful, dynamic computing device.
- Price. Ultrabooks can reach $550 before the end of the year and the cheapest touchscreen devices could come in at an even lower level if you consider low-cost Core laptops, Atom and AMD-based tablets. The modular ‘transformer’ designs [stay tuned for an article on the removable tablet designs in the next 24hrs] have all the ingredients for success if the prices are attractive. Manufacturers have had a year of Ultrabook testing in which have sourced and tested new components and have changed designs and production lines to reduce cost. In this tight economy which includes compelling $199 tablets, price is absolutely critical. The Ultrabook design method can help….
Because the size and weight is much lower, shipping and storage charges are lower. Because batteries can be sealed inside there are fewer safety approval processes. Smaller motherboards mean less material costs – as can smaller, simpler, sealed designs. Source – What if there was no Ultrabook?
If laptop manufacturers don’t get it right in Q4 they will miss one of the biggest chances they’ve had in recent history. There’s a chance here, but there’s also a requirement. The competition is huge and not only is this the best chance, it could be one of the last. Have the marketing departments saved their budget for October 25th? We’ll find out soon.
Enjoy the video. The second half of the video highlights some applications already available in the Windows 8 Store for the modern/metro user interface.
Your thoughts? Can this combination of OS, hardware and apps make laptops and PCs interesting again for the customer and improve the market for laptop sales?