IDC Says PC Sales Could Stagnate Again in 2013, Ultrabooks May Help

IDC has published a new report today accusing PC OEMs and other elements of the PC ecosystem of complacency and lack of innovation over the past few years.  With the advent of smaller form factors like smartphones and tablets, this has led to the perfect storm for PCs with declining sales worldwide.

IDC believes that over 2 billion users will use the Internet in 2013, with over half of them using tablets and smartphones.  For PC OEMs, the new form factors is not a temporary “problem” that will soon go away.  It is instead, a tectonic shift that will have losers and winners – big time.  IDC adds that the OEMs and parts suppliers e.g., microprocessor makers must;

“…emphasize technology that offers better performance, optimizes power for all day mobility, and drives integration and cost savings by leveraging heterogeneous SoC (System on a Chip)-based solutions across every form factor.”

IDC identifies the Ultrabook as a critical category for the PC industry, one that will help them to stay relevant in personal computing. They expect advances in design and construction of computing devices to accelerate this year and the Ultrabook category will be a first step to a new trajectory for the PC industry.

Mario Morales, Program Vice President,Semiconductors and EMS at IDC states;

“The growth of the industry is very clear; the key challenge will not be what form factor to support or what app to enable, but how will the computing industry come together to truly define the market’s transformation around a transparent computing experience. In the end, consumers will demand the same level of simplicity and convenience on any device and for any service.”

The question therefore is whether the Ultrabook will have the kind of significance IDC thinks it will in 2013.  Let me put it this way: if Ultrabooks are the major response of the PC industry to the tsunami of smartphones and tablets coming at them, they might as well look for buyers, as Dell is doing.

The market is no longer about notebooks, netbooks (last year’s savior), or ultrabooks.  The future will belong to tablets, phablets (I hate them term now), smartphones and to some extent, convertibles.  Not ultrabooks.  This is not to say they’ll sell a few -OK perhaps a lot – in the enterprise, but the future will be very, very different and very mobile.

What do you think of Ultrabooks?  Can they reverse the dipping fortunes of HP, Dell, and others?  Share your thoughts in the discussion below

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