Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu predicts that Apple’s iPad and lackluster Windows 8 sales are expected to hold back PC sales growth in 2013 to just 2%, among other factors. He agrees with the late Steve Jobs’ view that the iPad is a stepping stone to a post-PC era, especially since the entry price is now just £329 for the iPad mini. However, Windows 8 hardware is priced between $500 and $1,200 which he says is “uncompetitive” when compared to lower priced competition from Apple and Android.
Wu also believes that Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system will see a resurgance of sales, as users and businesses prefer its familiar look and feel over the new Windows 8 full screen touch interface, which continues to do badly in the market, as we reported here. Wu also sees PC hardware refresh cycles lengthening to between 5 and 7 years, much longer than the 2-3 year cycles that the PC market has seen over its 30-odd year history. He believes that mobile devices will see upgrades every 1-3 years.
None of this is good news for PC enthusiasts looking to upgrade to the latest and greatest hardware. In fact, the PC market has also been described as “brutal right now” by Legit Reviews founder Nathan Kirsch, in comments to a previous LR article about the awful Windows 8 sales that Microsoft is experiencing – behind even Windows Vista.
“The feedback we have gotten from supply chain sources is that there is great confusion, as there are too many form factors (PC notebooks, tablets, ultrabooks, and convertibles) and most do not know what to build and will actually sell,” he said.