Daily Debrief: Will low-cost laptops bail out the PC business?
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>> The economy's wheezing, big banks are collapsing and oil still remain sky high, so why is PC demand expected to continue strong throughout the remainder of this year and beyond. Welcome to the CNET News Daily Debrief, I'm Charles Cooper, here with my colleague Erica Ogg. And very interesting report today out of IDC, projects that worldwide PC shipments will grow nearly 16 percent this year. And the growth will remain double digits through 2011. And the number one reason according to IDC, the low-end of the portable market remains super hot.
>> That's what they're saying now. They are saying that -- especially western Europe, that people are snapping up these tiny mini laptops out of these Intel, Atom-processes in them. It's interesting because IDC has actually been more conservative about their outlook for these low-cost portables than some other PC analysts firms. So, the fact that they're even, they're changing and they're commenting on it, maybe there is more central growth built in there than were expected.
>> You know the argument is that, when times get tough people will go for the bargains where available and the low-cost Notebooks, particularly Atom-based units, those are the ones now attracting a lot of the mindshare.
>> Well it's interesting because, yes they're cheaper, you know they're going for between $300 and you know $500, $600, they have small screens, usually 7-inches to, you know maybe 9, or 10, but they don't function like most people, the mainstream would expect a laptop to function. They are very limited, not only are the keys smaller, the storage is smaller, the screens are smaller, however to see, so, what IDC is saying is actually maybe the new way to count PC growth is not necessarily how many PCs there are per household, but actually how many PCs there are per person because...
>> And that is a change?
>> That is a change because instead of, you know finding one PC that meets all your needs, maybe you're gonna say, okay, I have this little one, that's gonna meet some of my needs when I'm maybe on the road and then I have a you know desktop replacement, a larger Notebook that is going to meet my needs, you know at home or when I'm at work.
>> Intel finished up its Developers Conference a few weeks ago here in San Francisco and I was hanging out by the Atom area, that's where they brought inventors who had just come out with Atom-based units and it was jammed. Briefly, what are they built -- upside versus the downsides of these units compared with a full-fledged Notebook.
>> They're smaller, but they're also lower power. They fit a lot of places that, you know you're gonna put [inaudible]. I think the convenience factor is what's attractive to a lot of people, but there are a lot of limitations as well.
>> And with prices dropping it's not gonna be out of the realm to find individuals with more than one PC in their household.
>> That -- yeah, I guess that's what IDC is saying, so we will see.
>> We will see. Even if the economy continue sour, but let's hope that it doesn't.
>> Thanks Erica. On behalf of Erica Ogg, I'm Charles Cooper.
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