updated 12:30 pm EST, Fri December 24, 2010
Holiday online sales up 15pc but not PCs
Online sales grew rapidly in the holiday this year but weren't necessarily matched by most computer sales, a pair of official and unofficial reports found today. MasterCard said its online sales were up 15.4 percent between Hallowe'en and December 23. Clothes led the group, but electronics made "significant gains." Six days cracked the $1 billion mark, including not just Cyber Monday but the two days immediately afterwards.
Windows notebook makers might not be seeing the same effect based on the unofficial claims. Overall demand for notebooks and computers as a whole has been weak and has been hurt by tablets such as the iPad and Galaxy Tab, according to notebook builders talking to Digitimes. The usually bigger and more expensive computing hardware wasn't as popular as a gift.
As a consequence of the slowdown, some of the companies are now believed to be delaying systems based on the notebook platform for Intel's Sandy Bridge, Huron River. Giving too much promotion to the new platform wouldn't help eliminate overstock of old models, the tipsters said.
Certain computer manufacturers may not be affected by the problem. Apple, Lenovo and Toshiba are expected in NPD estimates to have grown rapidly this fall, but larger heavyweights such as Acer, Dell and HP are either growing slowly or expected to shrink.
Much of the predicted overall slowdown is being blamed on Windows 7 no longer being new, but the iPad and other tablets may have cut into their expectations as well. Apple meanwhile has been helped by launching the new MacBook Air and sparking interest not present elsewhere.