By Annie Huang
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) – Computer manufacturers of all sizes and descriptions have been pushing to get a piece of the ever-expanding tablet market created by the launch of Apple’s iPad in April 2010.
The obsession with tablet computing will be on full display as Computex, the world’s second-largest computer show, begins its annual five-day run in Taipei. The prominence of tablets underscores a dramatic shift under way in the personal computer industry – and keenly felt in Taiwan, which is home to some of the world’s biggest PC manufacturers – as many consumers opt to buy a tablet rather than a new PC.
Computex will feature more than 50 tablet models, said organizer Taipei Computer Association, with big names including Lenovo Group Ltd. and Toshiba Corp. having their products displayed.
Researchers have predicted slower growth in PC sales this year because of the rising consumer interest in tablets. Gartner Research recently cut its sales growth forecast for global PC sales in 2011 from 15.9 percent to 10.5 percent. According to IHS iSuppli, world PC shipments declined 0.3 percent year-on-year to 8.1 million units in the first quarter of 2011, with sales by No. 3-ranked Acer plunging 20 percent.
Many analysts say it may take two or three years before mobile device software from Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. can catch up with iPads, which have thousands of applications for consumers to choose from. That may mean a hard time for many PC makers in the short term.1 2 3 next >>