PC Show, the longest running annual tech showcase in Singapore opened its doors for the 26th time this year. The show attracts thousands of visitors in Asia Pacific (AP) and generates millions of dollars in sales each year. Here is a summary of what IHS finds most interesting and relevant among consumers in the region.
Notable Tech Trends
- Gaming PC to attract younger users in AP
- HP’s Next Gen Computing, one device to conquer all
- Hybrid PC for the mobile era.
Gaming was a major focus at the show, with a quarter of the exhibition halls dedicated to gaming PC manufacturers. PC manufacturers are expanding their offerings in the gaming industry as the gaming market offers higher margins and selling prices than the heavily commoditized general market. Gaming notebooks are designed for high performance, with faster processors, powerful graphic chips and advanced cooling system. Brands such as Dell’s Alienware, MSI, Acer Predator, Asus ROG, and Aorus cater to the premium market. In addition to the notebook purchase, gaming gear and accessories offer opportunities for additional revenue.
Challenging the global brands, there are some budding local players in the AP gaming PC industry, notably AFTERSHOCK, a Singapore based system builder that provides custom built gaming notebooks. AFTERSHOCK is becoming known for its combination of graphics, speed and product design. Some of the other regional players, like ILLEGEAR, a Malaysian based company offering custom gaming were not part of the show but are capturing share in the region. The show’s main attraction included gaming competitions, mainly centered on attracting gamers and building gaming interest among the younger generation in the region.
HP took computing technology one step ahead, unveiling the Elite x3 in the recent Mobile World Congress 2016. For the first time at PC Show Singapore, AP users were given a hands on demonstration of the device at the exhibition-only zone at the PC Show. The Elite x3 is an advance mobile phone designed to be an all-purpose solution. Running on Windows 10, the Elite x3 when docked can operate in full desktop mode.
The ability to control both mobile Windows OS and PC Windows OS simultaneously lies within the latest advancements in Windows 10’s Continuum combined with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chip. One can use a mobile phone in its Windows phone format while working on the Windows PC format simultaneously. When docked, the user has access to the full suite of office applications, including Excel, Word and PowerPoint and can display them full screen on a regular monitor. This unified concept could potentially disrupt the computing ecosystem which is currently highly diversified, particularly in emerging economies.
The importance of mobility was apparent in other computing design offerings, built to allow consumers to work while on the move. Lenovo heavily promoted their detachable MIIX and convertible Yoga lineups. Similar to gaming PCs, hybrid PCs generate additional sales from complementing accessories like styluses, keyboards, docks and protective casings. Many of the newer models were hybrid 2-in-1 PCs rather than conventional clamshells or desktops. The clamshells that were on the floor offered ever thinner and lighter designs. The new HP 13 inch Spectre is only 1.4cm thick and weighs 1.1kg.
Analysis and Key Takeaways
Manufacturers are increasing their focus on gaming modules as higher average selling price could help offset the price competition and current economic slowdown in the conventional PC market. Windows conventional PCs are experiencing lower YoY average selling price, forecasted to drop by 5.9%, from $570 to $537 in 2016 . PC makers also continue to improve on mobility by introducing hybrid designs and going thinner and lighter on the notebooks. Driven by stiff competition, the challenge for PC makers is to achieve cost and design without compromising on functions and performance.