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INTERVIEWS
By 6 September 2012 | Categories: interviews

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TechSmart had the opportunity to chat to Spencer Chen, products director at ICT distribution company Rectron, about the impact tablets had on the industry, ultrabook sales and the future of Windows 8.

TechSmart: Are tablet sales impacting desktop/notebook sales at all?

Spencer Chen: Tablet sales have had an impact on desktop and notebook sales, particularly in the entry-level space but the biggest impact worldwide has been felt in the netbook market. Tablets are largely designed around reading content, doing some content editing and content sharing. When the application requires more content creating, most users will still rely on the high performance computing power that can only be provided from a desktop or notebook so while the impact has been slight, it has not been significant.

Are ultrabooks selling as well as expected?

Due to the high cost and limited offering of the first generation ultrabooks uptake locally was relatively low. The current second-generation ultrabooks that feature Intel Ivy Bridge together with an improved yield rate on key components means that the overall cost of the unit has been driven down. We anticipate that due to the reduced cost and better specification we will start seeing a greater uptake in ultrabooks that offer high-performance, light-weight and do so at an affordable price.

Can you see the impact of the "bring your own device to work" trend on your industry?

Due to the BYOD trend we see more offerings and applications from different vendors. The demand for diverse and more scalable networks will increase as each individual's needs will differ. This will help the IT industry to diversify, relying on other key developments like cloud computing.

Will the sale of desktop PCs continue to decline?

Desktop PC will always play an important role in IT as needs are different. Some businesses and home users require high powered computers, graphics-intensive PCs with a vast amount of storage space. Notebooks and tablets cannot compete or replace this specific need. We may not experience an increase in market share on desktop - but it will always have its place.

I don't think that we're going to see the decline like we did when tablets were all the rage. Increasingly, tablet users are realising that they need a good PC to complete the mobile computing experience and are now looking at refreshing or buying a new PC to complement the tablet.

What are your expectations regarding Windows 8? Are we going to see another Vista blooper?

Windows 8 is even less resource hungry and comes with more functionality than the successful Windows 7 and I believe it will bring about a better user experience for consumers that will open up new needs for Windows-based devices.

Will Windows 8's touch user interface be the kick-start that Microsoft needs to join the tablet race?

One of the key functions on Windows 8 is the touch interface and its design for tablet and touch devices. Windows 8 allows people to use one tablet device for both work and play, this will change the game in the tablet world.

Can any manufacturer come close to Apple's success with the iPad?

The Apple iPad created a brand new sector in IT and opened up a new platform of computing. With the pace that technology is changing, and with new operating systems and platforms, I believe all manufacturers have a chance to play in this space successfully.

How are sales on your Corsair's high performance computing hardware? Is it mainly gamers buying these?

Since we started distributing the product in July, sales are increasing phenomenally. Corsair is considered a premium gaming brand and any person who has a need for high performance will enjoy the Corsair experience.

We've hear that Rectron is opening a gaming academy in Cape Town. Is this still on track and why focus on gaming?

As Rectron, we have made a strategic decision to sponsor the successful ASF clan in South Africa. ASF is opening gaming academies in Cape Town and in the rest of the country hopefully soon after that. Rectron will be supporting them through the donation of Gigabyte equipment to help develop the gaming culture, something which some analysts believe will become more popular than the Olympics in the future.

For more information on this project or on ASF visit http://clanasf.co.za/.

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