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New Touch Screen Notebooks Could Suffer As Discounts Rise For Older PCs

New Touch Screen Notebooks Could Suffer As Discounts Rise For Older PCs

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) may be getting rave reviews for its Haswell-based notebooks, but consumers and retailers could be too distracted to notice.

According to DigiTimes, most channel retailers had expected the penetration of touch screen notebooks (specifically those using Haswell) to fall within the 30 to 40 percent range in the third and fourth quarters.

This would be a significant increase over the first quarter, when touch screen notebooks accounted for just 10 percent of the overall models offered at retail. During the second quarter, that number is estimated to have jumped to the 15 to 20 percent range.

In order to get rid of last year's machines, retailers are reportedly delaying their promotions of Haswell-based laptops.

Related: Will PC Sales Ever Rebound?

This is somewhat evident at Best Buy (NYSE: BBY), which has been heavily promoting the sales of older notebooks for the past two weeks. The current promo on the main page of touts a $50 gift card giveaway to those who purchase a convertible notebook (laptops that can transform into tablet-style devices).

While some Ivy Bridge notebooks contain a touch screen (particularly the convertibles), the majority of Windows 8-based Haswell machines are expected to ship with touch features.

In fact, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) may be the only manufacturer that does not plan to ship a Haswell notebook with a touch screen this year. The Cupertino, California-based tech giant has not yet updated all of its notebook models, but Apple has not expressed any interest in bringing touch to the MacBook Pro.

The MacBook Air, which was upgraded in June, did not receive a touch screen either.

Apple could certainly change that and release an entirely new type of notebook, but it might be too soon for that great of an evolution. The company did not bring the Retina Display (or flash memory) to the MacBook Pro before 2012. Until those items are cheaper and ubiquitous, Apple might not release any drastic redesigns of its notebooks.

Other PC manufacturers -- such as Lenovo, Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), Acer, Asus and Hewlett-Packard (NASDAQ: HPQ) -- have been much more receptive to the touch screen format.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

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