How Consumer Electronics Will Swing With the Seasons

One of the more interesting trends we are watching develop is the increased seasonality of specific technology purchases. We have been anticipating this for a while now as more and more consumers are being conditioned to buy and or upgrade their technology in the late half of the year.

With Apple being completely silent the first half of 2013, we believe they are clearly embracing this trend and intend to push all their major product announcements to the second half of the year to be in a strong mindshare position for the holiday season. In many countries, premium smartphones are already seasonal purchases as upgrades often come up later in the year. It seems as though tablets and traditional PCs are also on the path to a seasonal pattern.

This has its advantages and its disadvantages. The advantage is that very targeted and specific promotions can be pushed to consumers with new release hardware for the holiday shopping season. Retailers are highly incentivized to get consumers in stores every way possible this time of year and will do what they can to get shoppers in the doors.

The disadvantage is over-saturation. If everyone launches new smartphones, tablets, PCs, TVs, etc., for the Q4 push then it will become difficult for many to cut above the noise and stand out from the pack.

If you couple these large Q4 product pushes with the low-cost trend we have outlined before, it becomes concerning that consumers may purchase devices not really suitable for enterprise computing and then try to bring them into the work environment. This could cause more pain then it is worth for most workers.

To help with this potential problem, we believe that IT companies will have to increasingly invest in valuable information as a part of their BYOD programs. Some enterprises do this today but many will need to follow suit. The goal is for notebook intenders looking to upgrade or buy a new machine for work, would be able to use an internal resource to see recommended hardware in the categories or notebooks, hybrids, convertibles and tablets.

For many PC OEMs, IT departments could become their best friends and can be used as a vehicle to better inform consumers to get the right hardware for the right job.

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Ben Bajarin

Ben Bajarin is a Principal Analyst and the head of primary research at Creative Strategies, Inc - An industry analysis, market intelligence and research firm located in Silicon Valley. His primary focus is consumer technology and market trend research and he is responsible for studying over 30 countries. Full Bio

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