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Computerworld - Dell’s buyout deal should give the company renewed business flexibility and stealth, but its customers need to know if Dell will be in the PC market for the long haul.
“Now, Dell will be able to better compete with HP, Lenovo, IBM and Cisco,” said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy. “They can do what they want without the scrutiny of Wall Street and the SEC, and do it under the radar, making it harder for competitors to guess at Dell’s next moves and then making defensive moves to thwart them.”
However, whether Dell, the third-largest PC maker in the world, plans to continue to be a major player in the PC business is an open question. That question has customers – both enterprises and consumers – concerned.
“It’s too early to tell how much Dell wants to remain in PCs,” said Moorhead. “They could more easily reduce or exit the business as a private company… Dell customers, specifically business PC customers and channels, could be a little edgy until Dell announces it’s in the PC business for the long haul.”
Hewlett-Packard, which has been barely hanging on to its number one position in the PC market, used the news of Dell’s buyout announcement to take a jab at its competitor.
“Dell has a very tough road ahead,” HP said in a released statement. “The company faces an extended period of uncertainty and transition that will not be good for its customers. And with a significant debt load, Dell’s ability to invest in new products and services will be extremely limited. Leveraged buyouts tend to leave existing customers and innovation at the curb.”
FRAMINGHAM, Mass., October 10, 2012 – The worldwide PC market contracted sharply in the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12), with shipments declining 8.6% from the third quarter of 2011, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. The results are below IDC’s August forecast of a 3.8% year-on-year market contraction.
IDC had expected a quiet quarter as channels focused on clearing out Windows 7 inventory to make space for Windows 8. Continued pressure from other products such as tablets and smartphones, as well as uncertainty over the impact of Windows 8 and the economic outlook, contributed to depressed shipments – largely as expected. Nevertheless, despite an already conservative outlook, the results show the vulnerability of PCs and the loss of mindshare among buyers who until recent years have flocked to back-to-school promotions in the third quarter for PCs. Familiar and persistent factors such as renewed economic issues and budget diversion into other devices also played a part. As a result, all regions saw shipment volumes decline from a year ago.
“PCs are going through a severe slump,” said Jay Chou, senior research analyst, Worldwide PC Tracker. “The industry had already weathered a rough second quarter, and now the third quarter was even worse. A weak global economy as well as questions about PC market saturation and delayed replacement cycles are certainly a factor, but the hard question of what is the ‘it’ product for PCs remain unanswered. While ultrabook prices have come down a little, there are still some significant challenges that will greet Windows 8 in the coming quarter.”
“We expected a weak PC market in the lead up to Windows 8 release in the fourth quarter. While the industry has been focused on shaving excess inventory and preparing to launch a new generation of products, consumers have been looking at alternative devices like tablets. In addition, businesses have slowed their refresh cycle as they remain concerned about the broad economic outlook, amid a busy political season,” said David Daoud, research director, Personal Computing at IDC. “Nevertheless, as vendors line up innovative new products and designs, consumers are likely to respond positively during the tail-end of 4Q12, and that means a potential return to positive growth at the end of this year.” Read more…
Yahoo! Finance’s Farnoosh Torabi hosts PCWorld editor, Tim Moynihan, and asks him for some PC advice. With the back to school shopping season in full swing, a personal computer is on a lot of lists, but it can be challenging to find a PC that offers both quality and a low price. Here are five great computers for less than $600.
SAN FRANCISCO – Microsoft tablets running its Windows RT operating system will be priced $200 to $300 below their siblings running Windows 8, according to an executive at the second largest personal computer maker in the world, Lenovo. Devices with ARM processors running RT will be priced to tantalize consumers, while those based on Intel and AMD chips are expected to attract corporate buyers and sell for $600 to $700, Lenovo’s head of North American operations David Schmoock told Bloomberg Thursday. Schmoock’spricing estimates for RT tablets appear to contradict reports earlier in the week that the ARM-based slates will enter the market at $199.
A key battlefield is emerging for suppliers of mobile chips—the low-end smartphone market in developing countries. Chip makers like Qualcomm Inc., Intel Corp. and Taiwan-based MediaTek Inc. are focusing on low-priced phones that typically cost less than $200, because the fast-growing market offers high volumes of sales. As a result, the companies are working with handset vendors in China and other emerging countries to increase their presence in the segment.
Qualcomm, the world’s dominant provider of wireless chips, has been working of late with Chinese electronics maker Lenovo Group Ltd., and the two last week introduced a couple smartphones that use dual-core Qualcomm chips typically reserved for pricier phones. While the devices from Qualcomm and Lenovo aren’t the first dual-core phones to hit the Chinese market, they are the first from Qualcomm to address the market’s low end.