With the tablet market now booming, PC manufacturers are scrambling to find a way to make notebook PCs more relevant again. One of the ways companies are doing that is to put touchscreen panels onto notebooks, taking advantage of the new user interface in Windows 8. Unfortunately for manufacturers, notebooks don't seem to be the form-factor that customers are looking for in touch devices, and touchscreen notebooks have been languishing.
Market research firm IHS today revealed research showing that touchscreen panel shipments for notebooks slowed yet again in the second quarter of 2013. Panel shipments reportedly fell 4.9% from the first quarter of 2013, down to just 4.4 million units.
“The touchscreen notebook market stalled in the second quarter, reflecting generally terrible conditions in the mobile PC segment,” said Duke Yi, senior manager for display components and materials research at IHS. “Shipment growth also was impacted as PC makers prepared new models for introduction in the second half of 2013. The good news for the market is that sequential growth is forecast to recover in the second half, traditionally the peak season for PC product sales, following launches of new product lineups.”
IHS, of course, cited tablets as a major cause of slow PC sales. The firm did see a bright spot, however, as companies are prepping their fall and holiday lineups for the biggest PC sales season. The impending release of Windows 8.1 also has PC vendors optimistic, as consumers may finally upgrade to the newer software, which traditionally spurs PC sales. Manufacturers will be hoping not to have a replay of last holiday quarter, when PC sales declined year over year.