In a manner emblematic of the times, on Saturday, July 26, 2014 Barrons published an article written by Alexander Eule on the topic of the resurgence analysts have recently noted in consumer interest in PCs. But, with the exception of a paragraph or two about Intel, and the evident success of its 3 year old objective of re-architecting CPUs for thinner, lighter laptops, the rest of the article is entirely about Apple iPads and Macs.
This article, titled What Comes Next in the Post-PC World? Better PCs, begins with some remarks about the troublesome sales plateau Apple’s iPad has apparently reached, at least according to its latest quarterly earnings report. Eule attributes diminishing consumer interest in iPads to “tablets [getting] squeezed out of the picture”. He suggests Apple may be looking to “cannibalize” its own position in the tablet market by introducing a larger iPhone in the fall.
But, despite quoting Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa, who reported (within a quarterly review of global PC sales) “‘[t]he availability of affordable thin and light notebooks have drawn consumer attention'” along with, perhaps, renewed interest in touch O/Ss: “‘Touch-enabled devices are also widely available with decreasing price premiums compared to a year ago'”, there is absolutely no mention, whatsoever, of Microsoft’s Surface 3 hybrid tablet/laptop.
Given Kitagawa’s comments, and Eule’s report on the success of Intel’s project to re-architect its PC CPUs for thinner, lighter, battery-powered devices, omitting mention of the Surface 3 is at least curious, and maybe a lot more.
This writer visited a local BestBuy in the metropolitan New York market recently and spoke directly with floor sales staff about the Surface 3 and the level of customer interest in the product. What he heard was very positive. While he was in the store he noted a lot of floor traffic interest in the Surface pavilion, as well as a lot of effort by sales staff to point prospects to these very thin, but very powerful computing devices.
When these same sales personnel were asked to characterize the type of customer moving to one of the Surface Pro 3 models, there was no mention of Macbook Air converts. Rather the Surface Pro 3 appears to be taking market share from laptops.
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