Siri is some seriously impressive technology being able to have what feels like a very real conversation with a piece of technology should not be underrated as an impressive technological feat. New patent application may suggest that Siri is on its way to other devices, thanks to a pairing method that would see Siri live on an iPhone, but then be jacked into a second device. The two devices listed as possibilities in that patent application? Both desktop and notebook computers.
Research firm Gartner just released its estimates for PC shipments in the Western Europe region during the holiday quarter, and only Apple and Asus made any meaningful progress, with Apple recording the strongest gains in France and the United Kingdom.
Apple might be billing its next big event as “Back to the Mac,” but don’t let that fool you into thinking its computer platform has been waning. Quite to the contrary, according to IDC, which reports the Cupertino team has grabbed third spot in the US PC sales charts with a 10.6 percent market share, bumping the incumbent Acer into fourth. Two million Mac shipments during the period represented an increase of 24.1 percent relative to last year, while the overall PC market turned in a somewhat morose 3.8 percent growth. Gartner’s also unleashed its numbers unto the world today, giving Acer the lead for third by the slimmest of margins, but both stat teams agree that the Taiwanese vendor has suffered a bad year along with Dell, which has also experienced some shrinkage. Toshiba’s the only major Windows machine seller to see its fortunes improve with double-digit growth, while HP seems to be hanging on to the top spot nice and steadily. Hit the source links for worldwide numbers.
Interest among ChangeWave’s early adopters compares with the first Intel Macs
Click to enlarge. Source: ChangeWave Research
Adding to the pre-tablet buzz, ChangeWave Research issued the results Thursday of a survey gauging consumer interest in the new Apple (AAPL) device expected to be unveiled at next Wednesday’s “latest creation” event.
Asked how likely they would be to buy an ‘iSlate’ if-and-when it becomes available, the 3,314 respondents answered as follows: 4% said they were “very likely” to buy one and 14% “somewhat” likely.
As ChangeWave’s Andy Golub and Paul Carton point out, the results are strikingly similar to a 2005 survey about Apple’s switch to an Intel (INTC) chip. In fact, as the bar graphs above show, the percentages were precisely the same.
“Apple’s switch to the Intel chip widely broadened the Mac’s appeal to consumers and proved to be one of the great moves in Apple history,” they write. “Five years later, our ChangeWave survey shows similarly high levels of pre-launch excitement for the Mac Tablet.”
ChangeWave’s news on the Mac front, however, was not so good.
Although PC buying among the survey’s respondents was up sharply — thanks presumably to the release of Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows 7 — MacBook purchases were down sharply.
A total of 15% of the respondents in the January survey bought a laptop in the past 90 days and 8% a desktop – the highest combined level of the past two years. But MacBook purchases in the same period dropped from 24% to 17%.
The two charts below tell the story.
Source: ChangeWave Research
Source: ChangeWave Research
The authors still expect Apple to report “solid” holiday MacBook sales in its quarterly earnings report next Monday. However, they add:
“The survey results also suggest that an X factor may be coming into play – – and that some potential Mac laptop buyers may have already begun delaying their purchases short term in order to wait for the ‘iSlate’ release before they make their final decision.”
It should be noted that respondents to ChangeWave surveys are not typical consumers. They are drawn, according the ChangeWave Alliance website, from “a worldwide group of 20,000 highly qualified business, technology, and medical professionals … who spend their everyday lives working on the frontline of technological change.”
You can read the full report on ChangeWave’s January survey here.