Market Overview

Will PC Sales Ever Rebound?

There seems to be a flood of bad news for the PC industry every month.

First the economy was blamed. Then the shift to tablets and the anticipation for Windows 8 (consumers were thought to have held off on making a purchase until the new OS arrived) took center stage.

In January, when PC sales had failed to receive the expected spike, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) and other big players were blamed for the decline. Even Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has been attributed to the fall of the personal computer, both in positive ways (iPad sales are replacing PC sales) and in negative ways (people are getting tired of buying new Mac and Windows machines).

Earlier this month it was revealed that touch screen Windows 8 machines could receive a 10 percent discount after Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) reportedly reduced the price of its OS. Even without the anticipated price cut, Apple, Dell and HP were expected to get a sales boost this spring.

That may not the case, however. A new DigiTimes report indicates that PC makers may be unable to make a comeback next quarter.

"…Sentiment in the PC supply chain still remains weak, in view of orders received in March and second-quarter order visibility at PC chip suppliers, according to industry sources," DigiTimes' Cage Chao wrote. He added that some notebook brands have projected that "global demand for notebooks is likely to retreat by 15% in 2013, and therefore, the notebook market is unlikely to see a rebound in demand until the end of the third quarter of the year."

That third quarter increase could coincide with the long-awaited MacBook Air with Retina Display. While Apple has not confirmed when the Retina Air will be released, the firm is expected to expand its Retina portfolio this year. Aside from the iPad Mini 2, the MacBook Air is the most likely candidate for a Retina Display upgrade.

Apple could also bring its Retina Display to the iMac -- but only after the price has been reduced.

In June 2012 Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry estimated that a 50-inch Retina Display would cost $25,000. Critics and consumers quickly dismissed his comments, but his estimate was all but confirmed when Sony (NYSE: SNE) announced that its first 4K Ultra HD television would retail for $25,000. (A 50-inch Retina Display is expected to meet or beat the resolution of a 4K set.) Samsung, LG and other manufacturers followed suit with a slate of 4K TVs in the $20,000 range.

In addition to the 50-inch estimate, Chowdhry said that a 17-inch Retina Display could add $700 to the cost of a device. Thus, a Retina Display iMac could be very expensive.

Follow me @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Apple DELL Global Equities Research hewlett-packard Trip ChowdhryNews Rumors Tech Best of Benzinga

 

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