Monday, August 12, 2013

PC market suffocated by high prices

PC desktop computer
The personal computer (PC) market has suffered several blows in the last few years and the sales numbers have steadily pointed downwards. The saviour, Windows 8, that everyone hoped for simply did not live up to its expectations and did nothing to remedy the declining trend.

Recent market analysis showed that one possible problem that prevents the PC market from recovering is the high price of computers.
For example, a new laptop with the recently released Intel Haswell CPU easily costs over $800. This is made even worse by the occasional high-profile launches such as the Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus which is sold for $1400.

The analysts conclude that in the present market climate, attempting to sell a PC laptop for $1400 is nothing but ridicules and the pull from the consumers is likely to be very low. In addition, the average price for PCs seems to have stagnated and prices are rather moving upwards than downwards. This mess is apparently mostly explained by the release of Windows 8 and the license fees and development costs for the manufacturers associated with the unsuccessful operating system.

One large player in the market which admits the problem and is actively working toward solving it is Intel. Intel claims that it will try and push the prices for their ultrabooks under $600 before the end of this year. However, this may mean that the cheaper laptops will be sold using the older CPUs (Ivy Bridge) instead of the newer Haswell CPUs.

In general, the whole PC market has a problem, which is that they suffer greatly from competition from tablets. The consumers see PCs priced at their current level as premium or luxury products rather than a necessary product. Therefore, they are likely to spend their money on a tablet or a new smartphone instead of on a new computer.

In my opinion, in the current declining market, the only thing reasonable is to push out computers for lower prices rather than launching high-end and expensive computers such as the Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus. The PC market needs to convince the users to upgrade their computers without putting a big hole in their wallets. Of course, the whole situation was made extremely difficult with Microsoft's really crappy Windows 8. Perhaps it is time to allow for Linux to properly enter the market through proper channels? Laptops sold with Linux instead of Windows should easily be able to shave off up to $100 in price on pure license fees.

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