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Out with notebooks, in with tablets & smartphones

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Not long ago, notebooks replaced desktops, now tablets & smartphones replace notebooks, with declining sales tech markets change quickly. 

Different brands of tablet PCs (Source: Wikipedia)

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TECHNOLOGY

PC firms take up gauntlet

Wireless dominance forces new strategy
26 Apr 2013
Suchit Leesa-nguansuk

The proliferation of wireless devices used to view content at home and on-the-go is proving a challenge for personal computer (PC) makers and changing the playing field for the overall information technology (IT) industry.

Of all PC makers worldwide, Acer, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard are among those being hit the hardest.

Many are gearing up to reinvent themselves and expand their product portfolio into a new mobile computing market.

Acer Computer (Thailand), the local notebook leader, is pinning its hopes on new hybrid notebooks that incorporate tablet functions into a high-performance notebook.

Nitipat Praweenwongwuthi, senior marketing manager, said hybrid notebooks are a Blue Ocean product with no dominant players, unlike tablets and smartphones, which are dominated by Samsung and Apple's iPhone.

Local hybrid computers are expected to account for only 15% of the 2 million computers expected to be sold this year

But Mr Nitipat predicts that proportion will surge to 50% next year.He said Acer is focusing on tablets and smartphones priced less than 10,000 baht, a market that will be boosted by the imminent introduction of full third-generation commercial service.

Jeerawut Wongpimonporn, general manager of Lenovo Thailand, the local unit of the world's second-largest PC maker, said the group has built a US$792-million factory for new mobile devices.

In June, Lenovo will introduce its smartphone in Thailand and roll out a tablet priced less than 5,000 baht to promote brand awareness

Acer and Asus recently introduced low-end tablets priced at 3,990 and 4,900 baht, respectively, to compete directly with generic Chinese tablets.

Hewlett-Packard (Thailand), the local unit of the world's largest PC maker, said it will also jump into the consumer tablet market in June with the Android-based Slate 7 tablet priced at $169.

"Notebooks will become a niche market, with 2 million of the devices sold each year," said Narong Intanate, chairman of The Value Systems Co, an IT distributor.

He believes Lenovo may have to acquire BlackBerry or Nokia if it wants to expand into smartphones. "Global PC makers will likely be reduced to no more than six brands within three years from eight now," said Mr Narong.

Jarit Sidhu, an analyst at International Data Corporation (Thailand), said PC makers will need to halve their hybrid notebook prices to 22,000 baht to attract consumers.

Tablets priced less than 15,000 baht will be the most attractive, he said.

"I believe the notebook market will see positive growth in the coming years after facing negative growth last year for the first time," said Mr Jarit. 

(Source: Bangkok Post, TECHNOLOGY, PC firms take up gauntlet, Wireless dominance forces new strategy, 26 Apr 2013, Suchit Leesa-nguansuk, link


Technology Change Vocabulary

tablet computer
- a flat computer device like the Apple iPad or Samsung Android tablet (See Wikipedia)
smartphones - mobile phones that offer advanced features so they become a lot like a computer (See Wikipedia)

notebook - a small computer that can be carried with you and used anywhere, also known as a "laptop" (See Wikipedia)
desktop - the old-style of computer that sits on a desk (See Wikipedia)

hybrid - a mixture of different things or styles การผสมผสาน an animal or plant that is bred from two different types (species) พันธุ์ผสม หรือลูกผสม
hybrid notebooks- "a tablet personal computer, a class of tablet which runs an adapted version of a desktop operating system", also called "tablet PC" (See Wikipedia)

Microsoft Tablet PC - a hybrid notebook that runs a version of the Windows XP operating system (See Wikipedia)

Blue Ocean product - a product that creates new demand in a market without competitors (See Wikipedia)

players - an important company, person, or country in an industry ผู้ค้าคนสำคัญ หรือผู้ค้ารายใหญ่
dominant players
no dominant players in the market

hybrid notebooks are a Blue Ocean product with no dominant players, unlike tablets and smartphones, which are dominated by Samsung and Apple's iPhone

take up gauntlet - accept a challenge
PC firms take up gauntlet

wireless - radio, communication without wires (for example, most modems in houses nowadays are wireless) ไร้สาย (การติดต่อสื่อสารผ่านวิทยุ คลื่นวิทยุ ไร้สาย)
wireless device

dominated - controlled ถูกควบคุม ถูกชักใย บงการ
tablets and smartphones  are dominated by Samsung and Apple

dominance - being more powerful than others
wireless dominance

strategy - a plan to achieve long term goals ('strategy' gives the big picture, 'tactics' the details)

wireless dominance forces new strategy

content - the subject, ideas, or story that a piece of writing or a radio or television programme deals with เนื้อหา,สาระ
on-the-go - moving around, not staying in one place (example: she was continually on-the-go with five business meetings in one day)
wireless devices used to view content at home and on-the-go 

proliferation - an increase; an increase in the amount of something that exists การเพิ่มจำนวนอย่างรวดเร็ว
proliferation of wireless devices and on-the-go 

challenge - something that needs a lot of skill, energy, and determination to deal with or achieve สิ่งที่ท้าทาย, การท้าทาย
proving a challenge for
tablets are proving a challenge for personal computer (PC) makers

changing the playing field - changing the business situation (that companies face when they compete in an industry or market)
information technology (IT)
changing the playing field for the overall information technology (IT) industry.

The proliferation of wireless devices used to view content at home and on-the-go is proving a challenge for personal computer (PC) makers and changing the playing field for the overall information technology (IT) industry.

hit the hardest - hurt the most
Of all PC makers worldwide, Acer, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard are among those being hit the hardest.

gearing up to - preparing to, makeing the preparations needed to do something
reinvent themselves
- making something old and not interesing into something new and interesting (product, career, company, job, etc)

portfolio - a set or collection of things that a person has (investments, products, departments managed by manager or minister)
product portfolio - the set of products that a company has

expand - to become larger ขายตัวออกไป
expand their product portfolio

mobile - can move around easily with it (mobile telephone, tablet), desktop computers and notebooks are less "mobile" 
mobile computing market

Many are gearing up to reinvent themselves and expand their product portfolio into a new mobile computing market.

local - in this country (Thailand)
the local notebook leader

functions - the things that something can do (example: the things that your mobile phone can do)
tablet functions

incorporate - to add or include something as part of something else
incorporate tablet functions
hybrid notebooks that incorporate tablet functions

pinning its hopes on - relying or depending on the success of something (if it succeeds, then our plans will succeed also)
pinning its hopes on new hybrid notebooks

performance - how well or badly something works (or whether an investment provides a reasonable return)
high-performance
a high-performance notebook

Acer Computer (Thailand), the local notebook leader, is pinning its hopes on new hybrid notebooks that incorporate tablet functions into a high-performance notebook.

expected - believe will happen คาดว่า (จะเกิดขึ้น)

Local hybrid computers are expected to account for only 15% of the 2 million computers expected to be sold this year

proportion - the percentage(%) (the amount of one thing compared to another)
the proportion of local hybrid computers to total computers sold

surge - a sudden increase in something การเพิ่มขึ้นอย่างรวดเร็ว to increase very quickly เพิ่มขึ้นอย่างรวดเร็ว
The proportion of local hybrid computers to total computers sold will surge to 50% next year.

focus on - to give all your energy and work to one thing 
He said Acer is focusing on tablets and smartphones priced less than 10,000 baht

imminent - happening soon ที่จะเกิดขึ้่นเร็วๆนี้ likely or certain to happen very soon ซึ่งใกล้จะเกิดขึ้น expected to happen soon ในไม่ช้า จวนเจียน จวนตัว
imminent introduction of

third-generation (3G) - the newest phone technology in Thailand
commercial - for business purposes

boosted - increased

the market will be boosted by the imminent introduction of full third-generation commercial service.

roll out - start selling a new product, introduce a new product to the market
roll out a new tablet priced less than 5,000 baht

brand - a type of product made by a particular company ตรา, ยี่ห้อ
awareness - the state of knowing about something การรับรู้, การทราบ
promote brand awareness

In June, Lenovo will introduce its smartphone in Thailand and roll out a tablet priced less than 5,000 baht to promote brand awareness

low-end -
the cheapest products that a company sells
low-end tablets
low-end tablets priced at 3,990 and 4,900 baht

generic

generic Chinese tablets
compete directly with generic Chinese tablets

Acer and Asus recently introduced low-end tablets priced at 3,990 and 4,900 baht, respectively, to compete directly with generic Chinese tablets.

consumer - someone who buys and uses goods and services ผู้บริโภค
consumer tablet market
the company will jump into the consumer tablet market

Android - an operating system for mobile phones and tablets that Google provides for free (See Wikipedia)
based - using, made or built with
Android-based - made or built with Android technology
the Android-based Slate 7 tablet

Hewlett-Packard (Thailand), the local unit of the world's largest PC maker, said it will also jump into the consumer tablet market in June with the Android-based Slate 7 tablet priced at $169.

niche - a small specialized area
niche market

Notebooks will become a niche market, with 2 million of the devices sold each year

acquire - to get; to obtain ได้มาซึ่ง

Lenovo may have to acquire BlackBerry or Nokia if it wants to expand into smartphones.

brands
- products with well-established names that people remember, that create a certain image and expectations about the product

Global PC makers will likely be reduced to no more than six brands within three years from eight now.

attract - to cause someone to be interested in something ดึงดูดความสนใจ
consumers - people who buy things or services (individuals and families)
attract consumers
halve prices to attract consumers

Jarit Sidhu, an analyst at International Data Corporation (Thailand), said PC makers will need to halve their hybrid notebook prices to 22,000 baht to attract consumers.

attractive - worth having or doing; pleasant to look at น่าสนใจ

Tablets priced less than 15,000 baht will be attractive, he said.

positive - more than zero (< 0) 
positive growth

negative - less than zero (>0) 
negative growth

"I believe the notebook market will see positive growth in the coming years after facing negative growth last year for the first time," said Mr Jarit.

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