This week Sony said its PC business is even worse off than the bleak estimates it made earlier in the year. Is there something going on here that’s larger than Sony’s failings? This week, Apple cut prices on updated MacBook Air models to as low as $899. That prompted retailers to slash prices on 2013 Airs (11.6-inch) to around $800. Apple sees the writing on the wall: cut prices or perish in the laptop market. But what does this tell us about consumers and the way they use the Internet?
The top activities for consumers, when inline, is to check email and check-in on social media according to numerous research reports. This can be done very nicely on an iPad which means that there just isn’t a reason to upgrade the PC that’s sitting in the home office. While windows 8 is a good stable operating system, it’s evolutionary, not revolutionary and as thus consumers don’t see the need to upgrade home PC’s.
Sony’s implosion of their PC business comes both from failing to see the future and believing that consumers would be willing to pay a premium for the Sony brand. They obviously didn’t learn their lesson from Vizio’s rise as the number one brand of flat screen TV’s.
Most consumers consume media online, they don’t create it and for that a tablet is great. However, don’t confuse tablets with smartphones. We can use a tablet all day when connected to our home, we-fi, but trying to use a smartphone to consume online media can be a challenge at best. Marketers should offer visitors to their branded website a link to full brand sites that can be viewed very well on tablets but are not suited for small screen smartphones.
The other mistake we make is to believe the propaganda that the PC is dead. It’s not, not by a long shot. According to Custora 80% of all ecommerce sales are still done on PC’s. That’s a big number and it shows that consumers are clearly using PC’s to shop.
Eventually consumers will be upgrading their PC’s but rather than spend a lot of money on brands like Sony they are going to look for both value and quality. Apple knows this and that’s the reason they cut laptop prices.