Analyst outfit Citigroup has waded into Microsoft's next-generation operating system and the lightweight Ultrabook laptops favored by chip-maker Intel. The analyst claims that the two cunning plans released at the same time will not be enough to save the notebook sector from going down the loo.
Kevin Chang, a Taipei-based analyst for Citigroup, predicted that the growth of notebooks would fall below five percent in the long term because tablets had eroded demand for notebooks, especially in the replacement market. Chang told the Taipei Times that the notebook upgrade cycle is being prolonged due to the rise of tablet PCs.
As a result the notebook replacement cycle will get much longer, maybe five years, as hybrid tablets start to replace some consumer notebooks. He thinks that tablet PC shipments would overtake notebook shipments in developed markets as early as 2014 and no later than 2015.
Chang did not expect consumers to delay purchases of notebooks ahead of the major launch of the touch-friendly operating system. Of course that might be true if consumers were really switching to Tablets, which is basically what Apple believes.
However Tablets also have not been doing as well as analysts have been predicting, what is more likely is that the worldwide recession is hitting all sorts of technology and no one is buying much. Tablets are not bad because they are slightly cheaper.
According to a Citigroup survey, more than 75 percent of consumers have no idea when the Window 8-based notebooks will be available in the market, while only 6 percent said they were holding off on purchasing a notebook in anticipation of the Windows 8 release. Chang was also skeptical that Ultrabooks would help boost notebook sales because consumers are spending less time at home using notebooks or desktop PCs.