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PC shipments to outpace traditional desktop PCs

Posted: 16 Jul 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:HIS? desktop PCs? ultrabooks?

With shipments projected to surge in the coming years, all-in-one (AiO) PCs will help prop an ailing market for overall desktop PC systems already battered by competing consumer devices, like smartphones, media tablets and even mobile PCs such as laptops and Ultrabooks, according to the IHS iSuppli Compute Platforms Service at information and analytics provider IHS.

Shipments of AiO PCs are forecast to reach 16.4 million units this year, a 20 percent increase from 13.7 million units in 2011. In comparison, worldwide growth of traditional desktop PC shipments in 2012 is expected to rise by only 0.2 percent from approximately 132.0 million units to 132.3 million units. By 2016, shipments will hit an estimated 24.8 million units equivalent to a five-year compound annual growth rate of nearly 13 percent, as shown in the figure attached.

Unlike traditional desktop PCs that comprise a separate monitor, system base unit and power cable, all-in-one PCs utilize a different form factor: one that integrates the display and base unit into a common chassis with the power cable permanently attached to the entire mechanism. Some models also offer a tuner option that allows the PC to function as both a personal computer and a television. Often AiO PCs also come with larger screen sizes C 22in being the averageto accommodate high-definition (HD) specifications, including HDMI inputs and outputs, options for 3-D and high-end sound systems. Most AiO systems also employ optical technology with sensors within raised bezel edges that will track touch in a typically two-touch or point-and-touch screen. A more tablet-like experience with multitouch or swipe capabilities could likewise be possible when Microsoft launches its new Windows 8 operating system later this year.

AiO systems do have their drawbacks. The PCs cannot be customized with additional or upgraded hardware as easily because of the more enclosed environment and space constraints within the system. The all-in-one form factor that makes them unique also makes the machines hard to repair. As a result, their product life cycle is shorter than that of the traditional desktop PC and the total cost of ownership also comes out higher. Pricing for AiO systems is anywhere from less than $500 for a modestly packed system with a 20in screen up to nearly $2,000 for a fully loaded high-end system.

AiO examples currently on the market include the iMac range of products from Apple, which led the market in shipments last year, followed by Lenovo, Dell, HP and Sony. The largest original development manufacturers for Aio PCs in 2011 were Taiwanese companies Quanta Computer, Pegatron and Wistron.

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