Japan's PC market saw its sales value in October 2013 rise 4.4% on year despite an on-year drop in sales volume. Notebook sales have also seen increased value, but declining volumes since March 2012 due to the increased number of high-end notebook models on the market such as those equipped with touch panels, which have boosted Japan's overall PC pricing and helped ASP return to the level in 2010 at JPY70,000 (US$670).
Because Japan's PC market is already in a state of saturation, local consumers now wait longer to replace their products, while older-generation models are enjoying better demand in the country than new models due to limited specification differences. In October, ultrabooks only accounted for 6.9% of Japan's total notebook sales, down significantly from 11.7% half a year ago due to Intel shifting its focus to tablet products, Digitimes Research's figures showed.
As Microsoft is set to end support for Windows XP in April 2014, Japan-based brand vendors are aggressively pushing new PC models, hoping to catch the replacement trend. Some key specifications that the vendors are promoting are Windows 8.1, Intel Haswell processors, high-resolution displays, and touchscreen/convertible designs.
Tablet and desktops are expected to become the main sales drivers for Japan-based vendors at the end of 2013, while Japan's enterprise market is also expected to benefit from the replacement trend brought about by Windows XP. However, PC demand in Japan is likely to turn weak again in 2014.