What a year it's been for Lenovo. In the second quarter, two independent market research firms -- International Data Corporation (IDC) and Gartner -- crowned Lenovo king of PCs in terms of shipments, and the company continues to find ways to flip a profit in what it considers a "tough" market. Lenovo's revenue for its first fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2013 was $8.8 billion, a 10 percent jump compared to a year ago, while earnings jumped 23 percent year-over-year to $174 million. It wasn't all because of traditional PC sales, though.
Will concentrate on expanding its Chrome OS and Android device portfolio
Back in December 2012, Acer president Jim Wang said it was too early to say whether Windows 8 was a success or not. Some seven months later — a period during which the company suffered a quarterly loss and the world a shoddy 8-inch Windows 8 tablet from Acer — the Taiwanese company seems to have found the answer.
Along with every other hardware player, Microsoft is hoping to see a boost in sales from the back-to-school shopping frenzy that's about to get underway. Unlike everyone else, however, Microsoft is sitting on a mountain of unsold Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets, which to this point have only generated $853 million in revenue. This led to Microsoft taking a $900 million charge on unsold inventory followed by a round of price cuts, first with Surface RT and now with Surface Pro.
There was a time when a desktop or notebook PC was needed for casual computing chores. These days, tablets (and smartphones) are more than sufficient for light email, surfing the web, watching streaming videos, playing casual games, and more, so it's no surprise that slates continue to sell at a rapid pace. What some might find a little shocking, however, is that tablet PC shipments will soon outpace notebooks shipments by a factor of 2:1.
Despite all the flak that Microsoft has drawn in recent times over Windows 8, its strategy of pursuing design continuity across traditional PCs and smart devices has won it a few admirers as well — some of them from unlikely quarters.
Giveaway at ISTE 2013 will be followed by discount offer during the back-to-school season
After giving them away to TechED attendees for just $99 a pop, Microsoft is now getting ready to sell the Surface RT to K12 and higher education institutions at a slightly higher, yet pretty “aggressive”, price of $199. Given all the reports of a large unsold inventory and recent murmurs about a Qualcomm-powered version, it seems as if Microsoft is trying to get rid of all those unsold Surface RT tablets in a jiffy.
The demise of the PC as you know it is often talked about, or at least alluded to, but just because tablets are uber popular doesn't mean there isn't room for old and new style PCs in the market. According the latest forecast by Canalys, traditional and tablet PC sales combined in 2013 will total 493.1 million units, up from 459.6 million 2012. By 2017, that number will jump to 713.8 million.
There's no need to wear a helmet when you walk down the Windows RT tablet aisle at your local Best Buy or Microsoft retail location, it's not as though the ARM-based devices are jumping off of store shelves. Might that change sometime in the future? Adding to the value proposition of owning a Windows RT slate and in an effort to boost demand, Microsoft announced that Outlook 2013 RT will be available on such devices as part of the free Windows 8.1 update that's coming later this year.
Free-to-play games proving popular on mobile devices.
Mobile gaming is already popular, but if new data from Juniper Research proves accurate, the number of game app downloads will steadily rise to more than 64.1 billion over the next four years. That would mark a greater than three-fold increase over the 21 billion game downloads that occurred in 2012, and it's thanks to a combination of free-to-play games, more capable devices, and a growing number of smartphones around the world.
Intel refuses to surrender the lower-end of the market.
Years ago AMD was putting pressure on Intel to continue innovating on the high end, but fast forwarded to 2013 and Intel is the last man standing. The new war is in ultra-low powered chips, and the company is years behind. Intel’s response to ARM was the ATOM series of processors, but they were stuck trying to power a heavy and bloated Microsoft OS, while ARM had custom designed operating systems that extended battery life, and created an entirely new market. This year the two companies are destined to meet in the middle, and it will be a pivotal moment in the history of computing. Intel has announced its plans to compete with the current crop of dirt cheap ARM based devices, and to the winner goes the spoils.