Despite some positive signs in the first quarter, PC vendors face ongoing uncertainty in the coming quarters. Turbulence in the economy means the consumer market in many countries remains a cause for concern.
The second quarter is expected to be soft, with Taiwanese notebook ODMs having reported a decline in shipments in April. This will improve as the channel sells out older products and vendors refresh their portfolios with models based on Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors.
The big transition will take place in the second half of the year with Microsoft’s launch of Windows 8 operating system. This will lead many consumers to delay new PC purchases into the fourth quarter of 2012. But by then, thin and light laptops will be approaching mainstream price points and a new wave of tablets, based on Microsoft’s new OS, will be hitting the market.
Positive reception to Windows 8, on all PC form factors, is critical, according to Canalys. If this is achieved, PC vendors will be able to look forward to 2013 with renewed optimism.
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