IDC says sales of touchscreen laptops were overestimated

By on August 12, 2013, 4:00 PM

When Microsoft launched the touch-optimized Windows 8 OS in October 2012, they were heavily banking on the prediction that touch-enabled laptops and desktops will be the next big thing in computing. Although this move was already viewed as bold at the time, the tech giant was constantly being reassured by industry analysts such as IDC.

According to Computerworld, IDC originally estimated that between 17% and 18% of all notebooks released this year would feature touch interfaces. Furthermore, Acer president Jim Wong also made an optimistic forecast in May, stating that up to 35% of his company’s notebooks would sport touchscreens before 2013 came to a close.

But these predictions have failed to come true, as buyers are steering clear of the higher prices associated with touch-enabled laptops. To put things into perspective, the average touchscreen notebook retails between $700 and $800, while its classical counterparts can frequently sell for half this cost.

Another concern is that the app ecosystem for Windows 8 touch-enabled apps is rather slim. This is one of the key reasons to make the transition to the new OS, and without it, there’s simply not enough motivation to spend money on a feature that will generally go unused.

There’s also the fact that Windows 8 is such a radical shift from previous designs, which means that prospective users must overcome its learning curve. To make matters worse, Windows 8 is even harder to navigate using a traditional mouse-and-keyboard setup, which encompasses the large majority of its users. To bring back some type of familiarity and to appease non-touchscreen users, Microsoft has plans to ship Windows 8.1 this fall. Notable features include the return of the Start button and the ability to boot directly to the traditional desktop.

Based upon the criticisms discussed above, Bob O’Donnell, an analyst with IDC, admits that the firm’s original forecast now appears to be quite an overestimate. “That now looks to be too high, to be honest,” added O’Donnell, who reevaluated the figure to be between 10% and 15% of all laptop sales.

User Comments: 14

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Rasta211 said:

I guess people voted with their wallets.

Guest said:

It takes more effort to touch a screen than use a mouse. Remember those light gun games, they took stamina.

2 people like this | ikesmasher said:

Point ive been making all along, it takes less effort to move a mouse (resting on a table) 2 inches than to move your hand across 12 inches in the air.

1 person liked this | psycros psycros said:

Point ive been making all along, it takes less effort to move a mouse (resting on a table) 2 inches than to move your hand across 12 inches in the air.

Just shows how desperate these companies are to believe their own BS. Meanwhile here in the real world we go right on using what actually makes sense.

windmill007 said:

It's 3D all over. It's a cool feature but not a must have or needed all the time. Mouse is much better than touch for getting stuff down. Touch is cool for play and certain applications. A all for one is for everything sounds cool but in practice just doesn't work. They could of made the desktop version of windows 8 slightly different and it could getting love instead if hate. I really don't understand how Microsoft makes this billion dollar mistakes. Kinda wished apples wisdom was body owed upon Microsoft and we would have some rally cool stuff instead of this mess. Maybe they can clean it up with windows 9 but I doubt it. Start8 and modern mix create the perfect windows 8. Check them out

1 person liked this | TheBigFatClown said:

Windows 8 would have the fastest selling most popular operating system on planet earth right now with all it's under-the-hood improvements if Microsoft wasn't so ignorant. They could have used the core operating system for 3(or 50 different devices). Who cares really. As long as the primary UI the operating system is running on makes sense.Microsoft is a multi-billion dollar company who didn't wanna take the "time" to make at, minimum, 2 different interfaces, for the devices which it would be used on.

Windows 8 could have been great. But instead Microsoft ignored, completely ignored, all the feedback they were getting because they thought people would just bend over and take it. Yes, some of you chimpanzees did bend over and dropped your pants, closed your eyes, and said, "Okay, I am ready for whatever you got.". Thank God a good majority of people still got more brains than a chimpanzee.

The only way I would ever accept touch as the primary interface on my desktop, is if I was a chimpanzee in a laboratory playing tic-tac-toe 24 hours day. Barring that scenario, it ain't gonna happen, ever, on my desktop. Can't wait to see Windows 8 crumble to the ground like a 27 story skyscraper.

Windows 8 and the fad touch-UI gimmick is on life support. Hopefully, six months from now, it will be dead, and we can all get back to doing things the right way.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

For me, its all touch, or no touch. Touch enabled laptops are stupid IMO.

The biggest fail for touch screens, is they still aren't accessible to customers to make purchases at any stores you go to. Seems they are more excited about mounting TV's to the wall. *Yawn*

coppersloane coppersloane said:

If reaching across six to twelve inches to your screen is a bother, you've got more problems than just choosing touch or mouse.

Asok Asus Asok Asus said:

If touch was REALLY vastly superior to mouse input, people would gladly pay a premium for it. But the truth of the matter is that touch on a PC is about as useful as teats on a boar hog. Actually, less useful. Does Microsoft really expect 100 million CAD/CAM designers, accountants, and other industrial content makers to hold their arms up horizontally all day inaccurately poking smudges on their 42" monitors with their fat fingers, working at 1/100th the speed as before Windows 8 with 1000 times the physical effort, in the mean time destroying their necks and shoulder girdles for life?

Touch is an extremely low bandwidth input method with horrendous inaccuracy and extremely harmful ergonomics when compared to a keyboard and mouse. Touch might be ok for looking up the latest cat video, or tweeting, texting, or talking, but that's about it.

It would be foolish to pay a large premium for such a useless "feature", and with most consumers not being fools, they've elected to forego paying a premium for such foolishness.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If reaching across six to twelve inches to your screen is a bother, you've got more problems than just choosing touch or mouse.
You are so funny at times, I don't know whether to bow my head or laugh.

Walking a staircase is not really a bother either, unless you had to do it all day. If you had to do it all day, I bet you would wish you had an elevator. But from your angle of view, if walking up one flight of stairs is such a bother, you have more problems than choosing a staircase or elevator. Lets completely forget about how many times, the same physical action has been done.

Guest said:

Why would anyone need touchscreen in laptop? touchscreen markets are tablets and transformers

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

To my way of thinking, touchscreens only make sense on portable devices & public machines. On desktop machines they're a waste of time & effort.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I get seriously annoyed when people touch my monitors and leave smudge marks on them. Touchscreens on laptops/desktops never made sense from day 1.

1 person liked this | ikesmasher said:

If reaching across six to twelve inches to your screen is a bother, you've got more problems than just choosing touch or mouse.

its a bother when your playing a FPS for a couple of hours, or doing serious 3D or 2D work.

Regardless of whether or not its a "bother" its simply less efficient than a mouse, as well as more time consuming.

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