Tablet not tonic

The Tablet PC is losing out to the notebook in the battle of the form factor, according to the latest research from IDC, which found that while notebook sales are soaring, Tablet PC sales have fallen quarter-on-quarter.

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By  Peter Branton Published  August 12, 2003

The Tablet PC is losing out to the notebook in the battle of the form factor, according to the latest research from IDC, which found that while notebook sales are soaring, Tablet PC sales have fallen quarter-on-quarter.

For Q2 2003, Tablet PC sales fell 31% from the preceding quarter, while for notebooks sales rose a record 39%, with Tablets making just under 1% of the total notebook market in EMEA, according to IDC’s figures.

The research house said that many of the problems that have affected the Tablet PC since its launch last year are still prevalent, with a lack of competitive pricing and software applications putting users off the form factor. While notebooks are currently intensely competitive on price vendors are not showing the same interest in the Tablet PC, IDC said.

“The cutthroat pricing tactics rampant in the consumer and commercial notebook market for mainstream models have effectively sidelined the novelty of the Tablet PC. Unless vendors are willing to inject aggressive pricing and step up collateral promotional activities in the short-term future, growth prospects for this form factor will remain bleak in the second half of 2003,” said Massimo Melis, research analyst for IDC’s European hardware pricing service.

However, it is not all bad news for the Tablet with IDC pointing out that a number of new vendors are looking to enter the market, including Panasonic. Pricing should also fall as vendors drop prices to clear stock for forthcoming Centrino-based models.

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