Analyst: Windows 8 hardware 'overpriced' and offers 'no clear benefit in switching from iOS or Android'

Analyst: Windows 8 hardware 'overpriced' and offers 'no clear benefit in switching from iOS or Android'

Summary: While market research firms are forecasting a PC sales growth of between 7 and 9 percent during 2013, one analyst thinks that this is too high and is likely to end up being closer to 2 percent.


Microsoft, along with its hardware partners, pinned an awful lot of hope on Windows 8 that it would be the catalyst that would inject new life into the stagnant PC industry. One analyst believes that while there will be growth, it will fall far short of what was expected.

While market research firms are forecasting a PC sales growth of between 7 and 9 percent during 2013, but Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu believes that the rally will be far more muted, and closer to 2 percent.

Wu sees the challenges facing the PC market during 2013 as three-fold. First, mobile devices -- in particular iOS and Android -- will continue to cannibalize PC sales throughout the year. Put simply, consumers and enterprise buyers prefer to spend their money on post-PC devices rather than on PCs.

Another problem facing the PC industry is that the adoption of Windows 8 has been slower than expected because of what Wu calls "a big but uncomfortable and unfamiliar change in its user interface."

Finally, and perhaps most importantly at a time when buyers seems price-sensitive, Wu finds the $500 to $1200 price tags slapped on Windows 8 hardware to be "uncompetitive" when compared to  Android with prices as low as $99, and the iPad mini which starts at $329.

See alsoTwo must-have downloads that make Windows 8 more bearable

Wu has a lot to say about Windows 8, and most of it is quite negative. In a statement to ZDNet Wu claims that Windows 8 hardware is "overpriced" and offers "no clear benefit in switching from iOS or Android." He goes on to say that supply chain sources are reporting that "there is great confusion as there are too many form factors (PC notebooks, tablets, ultrabooks, and convertibles)" and that most of the OEMs "do not know what to build and will actually sell."

Wu also predicts that there will be a shift of power as far as the PC market is concerned, with Asia-Pacific players such as Lenovo, Asustek, and Samsung stripping market share away from established players such as Hewlett Packard and Dell. Apple, however, says Wu, will continue to gain share "due to its highly differentiated Mac."

Looks like 2013 is not going to be a good year for PC vendors.

Topics: Windows 8, Microsoft, PCs, Windows

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  • Analyst: Windows 8

    Another day, another analyst. You get what you pay for in this world.
    • That could be a slogan for Apple products!

      They are more expensive but oh so much better than the 5 & dime versions offered for the Windows and Android and Linux OS's. Apple hardware rocks and their software is powerful and oh so easy to use!
      • You so crazy DontUseMicrosoftAtAll

        You make me laugh.
      • So take Shaw Wu's advice all the way

        to the poor house, and be happy.
        William Farrel
        • well in the planet where I live

          mac users are wealthier, and make more money.

          Maybe is the tool that make the difference?

          Note Im not complaining, in this competitive world is good to have an edge.
          • Self selecting

            Since Macs are more expensive you're doing what stats folks call self selecting - it's like saying that Lexus owners are owners make more money than Honda drivers - of course, Lexus costs more so they have to make more - doesn't signal better nor greater sales - nor would one seek to inversely and incorrectly correlate the Lexus ownership to helping them make more money
      • You know..

        I bought that line a few years back. Grabbed me an iPhone, an iPad and a MacBook Pro. The iPhone was fantastic for 2 years, and then something happened: Apple broke it with their horrible iOS 4 update. Made the device completely unusable, so slow that at times the phone app wouldn't launch before the caller gave up. This persisted even after a complete refresh of the device and an out-of-warranty replacement. The problem wasn't the hardware--it was Apple's bloatware.

        Then later, it happened to my iPad, barely a year old: iOS 5 came along and suddenly, my previously useful device became slower and crash-prone. Not as bad as iOS 4 was on my iPhone, but still, enough to establish a pattern of behavior.

        Then I upgraded from Lion to Mountain Lion, and things became really slow on my MacBook Pro. Now, being a systems engineer, I figured no big deal, my MBP is less than two years old, and let's face it, upgrades are rarely the way to go anyway, so I installed Mountain Lion fresh. MUCH better! Still not quite as snappy as it was on Lion, but not bad.

        Suffice to say, when my phone became a problem, I went to go and do the only thing Apple could really advise: "Upgrade to the NEW iPhone!" Luckily, the sales clerk took so long at the AT&T store that I had time to fiddle with the Windows Phone 7 devices of the time, and after finding out they had a 30 day return policy, I figured I'd give it a try.

        Man was I shocked. WP7 was FAST, far faster than my iPhone had ever been. It was also more stable than my iPhone had ever been, especially after iOS 4, and within days I knew I wouldn't be returning it. I got nervous when updates came--Microsoft is famous for bloatware, would my Samsung Focus become a slug like my iPhone? No--it got *faster*. Each update brought more features and more speed and a smaller memory footprint--the OS was *shrinking* while getting better, exactly the opposite of Apple.

        When my iPad got slow during iOS 5, I thought back to my iPhone, which was orphaned after its slowness appeared, so I decided to sell my iPad before the iOS 6 announcement, which I figured was likely to abandon the iPad--and I was right. Good thing I got out from under it when I did, because iPad 1 is now essentially a paperweight.

        Eventually I opened up my MacBook Pro to see what might be a good choice for upgrading the hard drive, and was shocked to see the cheapest Hitachi piece of junk hard drive, the kind you'd expect to find in a $200 netbook, not a $1200 MacBook. So I upgraded the hard drive to a new SSD/HDD Hybrid and, figuring it was worth a look, installed the Consumer Preview of Windows 8. I was blown away by the OS--fast, smooth, stable, with an absolutely stunning modern UI design. Booting into OSX suddenly feels...archaic, like I'm looking at a relic from the past.

        Fast forward awhile and I'm happily running Windows 8 RTM, and my next computer won't be Apple at all--it'll be a Windows 8 tablet with an Intel processor, probably Microsoft's upcoming Surface Pro. And with that, I'll be done with Apple forever.

        See, whereas Microsoft used to make bloated software that got worse with age, they've learned their lesson and gone the opposite direction. 7 was smaller and faster than Vista. 8 is smaller and faster than 7. While Apple mucks around in UI paradigms they stole from Xerox 30 years ago, Microsoft has moved on to a fast, clean, modern UI that's easy to use.

        I've dumped every Apple service I ever used and migrated fully into the Microsoft ecosystem, because even though it's a work in progress, it's already better than Apple's. And because I've now seen Microsoft consistently improve their products while Apple just treads water, I'm happy to have moved away, moved forward into the future and away from relics like OSX.

        Thank you, Microsoft, for fixing everything that used to be wrong with you, and is now wrong with Apple instead.
        • Apple Didn't Steal Anything From Xerox

          Get your facts straight. Steve Jobs paid Xerox's PARC fair and square. They didn't copy it. Xerox had it all, mouse, graphical user interface, operating system, etc. but they had no intention of ever making any of this tech available to the public. If it weren't for Apple it would have taken longer, maybe never, for the mouse and graphical user interface to come to the masses.
        • lol!!!!

          too funny.. you should write for The Onion!
        • jasongw aka MicroKlunk Redmond mole

          Enjoy your viruses, malware & ancient defrag monkey business.
          • Are you still using Windows 95?

            It sounds like you may be.
            NoMore MicrosoftEver
          • I still maintain old Windows..

            Windows 98 still has some uses for me, and I know well enough to keep it protected and malware free.
          • ITJohn - Guru? LMAO

            What a parrot-like regurgitated load of crap. All Mac lovers can do is say the same (pre-programmed into their brains) rubbish, over and over. I've used Windows since year dot and NEVER had a virus. Macs can have viruses too, only who do the criminal virus writers want to affect? Answer: As many people as possible. Who has the most people? Windows. Not the users of ancient, ugly-looking OSX. Virus writers have no interest in the "minority".

            I realise my response is quite childish, but I am only replying 'in kind' to a childish parroted post.

            Oh, I use SSDs and have no need to defrag anything.
          • I still have a Compaq DOS computer

            It weighs about 50 pounds, has an amazing 20 meg dual hard drive set up and dual 5.25 floppies. I have (1) XP, 98 dual booted, (1) Vista OS for my lady, (1) 7 Professional for my main desktop, (2) 7 Home for Media centers on my 2 home theater systems. I also have 2 Mac-Minis, one is a Music Server, the other a bedroom system on a flat panel TV (and yes it does have the capability of Blu-Ray for movies as well. I also have a MacBook Pro with both Windows 7 Home and Linux Mint in virtual machines. All 9 computers still function, the DOS system from '85 is kept as a keepsake, and from my experience on all of them I know you lie about viruses on at least the systems prior to Windows XP. My Macs I own presently have been without fault except for an SSD which failed on my Mac-Mini music server and was warranted by Samsung. I have never experienced malware (though I admit there are a few out there) on any Apple products. Were it not for gaming and Media Center experience which are better on Windows, I would only own Mac for their reliability. As for the many people as possible comment that can be construed due to Windows and associated OEM hardware being cheaper (some cases extremely cheaper), but don't forget Windows is subsidized by means of all the crapware that usually come included with those OEM's.
          • RE: "I realise my response is quite childish,..."

            Seems to be a trend with you based on what I have seen.
          • Windows 8 dude,

            it's not 1998, it's 2012. I don't even have to use virus guards anymore, because Win8 comes with fully integrated hassle free virus/malware protection, and defragging is not a thing you have to do, it will be done automatically and discretely if need be, you won't even notice it happening, face it, iOS is no way near the level of sophistication of Windows, and I doubt it will ever get there.
            -A Computer Science Student-
          • I'm with you

            I've been messing with computers one way or another since 1972, when we time-shared from a machine at UCLA. W8 is a great evolution, people have aproblem with a change of paradigm. After going through the punch card->green screen->gui evolution I must say, I do like the shift to the tiles. I guess it was metro ui on my Xbox, totally awesome.
          • Do you expect to be taken seriously and have credibility

            when you are comparing iOS to Windows on sophistication? One is a mobile OS and the other is a desktop/laptop OS.
          • Ya?

            Virus free for years. Meanwhile How was that Macguard thing? Macdefender? Apple did nothing for 2 week....
          • ..and the far greater majority of OSX users

            still have no idea of what those are, or why you pro Microsoft zealots should care at all.