Touch-enabled notebooks are in demand with 82 per cent of respondents to IDC Asia/Pacific's end user survey indicating their preference for it for their next purchase.

According to the annual survey that studies end user behavior and usage on client devices, the usage explosion of smartphones and tablets, where touch screen is a prominent feature, is a key driver of taking these screens to the personal computer. The study also finds that the majority of PC users today, even in emerging markets, own a smartphone, especially for 26-35 year olds at 87 per cent.

However, from the survey that covered Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan, IDC finds that only 6 per cent of all notebooks are shipping with touch screens in 1H13 for these nine countries.

"Its ironic that as PC market growth continues to go south, customers' need for for touch-enabled screens isn't being met yet," says Handoko Andi, Research Manager for Client Devices at IDC Asia/Pacific.

"Reasons causing this glaring discrepancy include bad timing, as panel prices earlier this year were high, deterring PC makers from producing more affordable options," he explains. For that, PC makers have been progressively announcing their plans to launch more affordable touch-enabled notebooks in the second half of this year.

Another driver is the lack of touch-enabled applications, which is forcing users back to using legacy apps in the traditional desktop mode of Windows 8 rather than the touch-optimized Modern user interface.

"While IDC believes that touch-enabled screens will eventually become the new standard of the industry, touch-enabled apps that are relevant to PC end users will be the crux of a much faster penetration in Asia, says Andi. - IDC