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Shuttle staff declare that notebook market is dying

In a surprising U-turn, the folks on the Shuttle stand at Computex 2011, were sharing their views on the imminent death of the notebook market. KitGuru examines, extrapolates and exercises its right to disagree.

Back at the start of 2010, the world seemed like it was heading lock, stock and 2 smoking barrels toward a place which would be owned by net/notebooks.

In that environment David Chen, Shuttle’s CEO, gave an interview which laid out his vision for the future. A future in which Shuttle evolved into one of the world’s leading white-box manufacturers for laptops. He wanted Shuttle to take the lead in designing the key components necessary for laptops to follow desktops – with greater innovation for local system integrators and greater choice for consumers.

Unfortunately, around the same time as Mr Chen was sharing his vision – Steve Jobs was well and truly on his way to sharing a different view of tomorrow with the original iPad. The rest, as we say, is history.

At Computex 2011, we heard Shuttle folk talking up their PCs and tablets, but they were quite sure that the days of the traditional notebook are seriously numbered.

Opinion is one thing, but actual research is something else. Armed with a camera, we headed to the world famous Guang Hua Digital Plaza, to see what the public were interested in. The result was interesting.

Time after time, the tables with notebooks were empty - while the tablet stations were crowded

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As you can see from our snapshot, display areas with laptops were deserted, which tablet sections were crowded.

That’s not all. Businesses rely on profits and there’s very little profit in selling hardware. Services and personalisation, however, are a different matter. Guang Hua is full of iPad-loving stores that will fit anti-glare screens, provide you with a protective backplate and a whole host of additional peripherals.

So what do the Shuttle folk think the future will look like?

Significantly more tablet-type PCs – eating directly into the laptop market – with a resurgence of ‘desktop type PCs’.

Data from IDC seems to back up the idea that Tower systems will be boosted from 2011 to 2012 – more on that later.

The message from Shuttle seems clear

KitGuru says: We can’t say that the laptop market will die, but the U-turn at Shuttle HQ gives you an idea of how different the world (post iPad) has become – in less than 2 years.

Comment below or in the KitGuru forum.

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