It appears that, in addition to adding touchscreens to notebooks, PC manufacturers will be betting big on convertible, 2-in-1 tablet/notebook hybrid devices in 2014. Looking ahead to the new year, manufacturers are already ramping up production on convertible devices.
Despite the increased production on such devices, it remains to be seen whether consumers actually want them. Microsoft’s Surface tablet failed to gain traction in either the tablet or the notebook markets, and other convertible devices have seen limited success as well.
A new DigiTimes report today shows that manufacturers are almost certainly seeing the same consumer wariness toward convertible devices. The report’s sources state that notebook manufacturers are being “conservative” in regards to 2-in-1 devices.
Part of the reason, the report points out, is the very restricted verticals for such devices. Peripherals (keyboards, mainly) for convertible tablet/notebooks have to be tailored to the device in question, limiting sales to just the number of the devices sold and tying their success to that of the main product. Those numbers, at this point, make it hard to justify a big investment in a new device ecosystem tied to 2-in-1 notebooks/tablets.
Even so, the report points out that some component manufacturers are reporting increased orders for convertible notebook projects. It seems that even with reservations, brand manufacturers are plunging ahead, hoping to strike the next big tech market.