Intel CEO Downplays Tablet Cannibalization, Explains Weak Consumer PC Spending

Paul Lilly

You won't catch many power users trading in their gaming notebook or desktop for a tablet PC. Tablets are fun, useful, and convenient, but in our minds, they're complementary products, not replacement PCs. But what about mainstream folk who are only interested in hopping online to browse the Web and sort through emails? It's conceivable that certain segments would choose a tablet over a notebook or desktop, and with consumers not spending as much on PCs as of late, is it fair to say that tablets are cannibalizing PC sales? Intel CEO Paul Otellini tackled that question head on.

According to an AP report , Otellini was asked during a conference call what he attributes weak consumer PC spending in the U.S. and Europe to, and whether he thinks it's due to tablet cannibalization, macroeconomic worries, or Windows 7.

"I think it's a little bit of each of those, but I'd add one more, which I think is a big one," Otellini said. "Remember in 2009 and the first half of '10, during the depths of the recession, the consumer notebook market worldwide, particularly in the U.S. and western Europe, was very strong, and it was strong contrary to GDP at the time. Remember, GDP was going south and consumer sales were going north. And I think what happened is that people bought a lot of machines in that time-frame and that we're still just early in the cycle."

Otellini's comments make sense, but only time will tell if he's right with his assessment. In the meantime, Intel doesn't appear to be willing to leave anything to chance. ARM and Nvidia (in that order) are currently the go-to chip makers for tablets, though Intel is also making a bid with its Oak Trail platform. Tablets built around Oak Trail are expected to start shipping next month.

Image Credit: Flickr (sam_churchill)

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