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October 27, 2009

'All-in-One' PCs Category Forecast to Nearly Double from 2008-2012

By Anamika Singh, TMCnet Contributor

The launch of Windows 7 has resulted in a surge of new “all-in-one” PC announcements by traditional PC vendors and monitor brands -- most recently Apple’s (News - Alert) two new iMacs. AIOs have been around for many years, but new ones address entry-level price points, while others promote the use of touch as a new interface for personal computing.

In a release, Chris Connery, DisplaySearch vice president of PC and large format commercial displays, said “New AIO products was targeting entry-level-price points for desktop PCs until LCD panel prices grew in the second half of 2009. Many of these products have been re-positioned to emphasize the enhanced features of Windows 7; lower-priced AIO products, including nettops, may emerge in 2010.”
Many AIOs began with low-priced Intel (News - Alert) Atom-based nettop PCs, with new entry level price points for desktop configurations like the mini-notes (netbooks) did for portable PCs. But, the LCD panel shortage during the first three quarters of 2009 escalated the desktop LCD panel prices, and developers recognized that a $399 price point was not feasible for mass-market products in 2009. The strategy of simple, low-priced AIOs moved to products that take advantage of new technologies integrated into the operating system, and shifted to promoting ease-of-use at an appropriate price point.

With a gradual shift from punch cards to keyboards to mice, there is clear momentum for the next input interface to be touch. Other options like voice recognition are also in the works. Touch screen interfaces have been accepted as the primary interface on many CE devices. However, some of the vendors are not taking the same approach. Apple, for example, did not include touch screen interfaces in their new AIOs, instead focusing on enhancing the touch features of its mouse. HP is leveraging touch as an interface for PCs, beginning with inclusion of touch screen displays in its TouchSmart line of PCs in 2006.

Anamika Singh is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anamika's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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