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平板电脑拯救PC市场

平板电脑拯救PC市场

Peter Suciu 2012年10月24日
平板电脑现在已成为个人电脑市场的生力军。它携带方便,使用简单,一经面世,就迅速获得了消费者的喜爱,其革命式的即插即用终极体验从整体上提升了消费者对个人电脑的满意度。

    上个月,消费者对个人电脑的满意度达到了有史以来的最高值。美国消费者满意指数(American Customer Satisfaction Index)显示,消费者对于个人电脑的满意度达到了80分,突破了此前78分的高点。

    考虑到除传统个人电脑外,个人电脑领域已增加了平板电脑、超轻便携式电脑和其他新兴设备,这样的得分不算糟糕。其实,满意度的提升,部分正是源于平板电脑。消费者看来就是喜欢用平板电脑,非常非常喜欢。随着这部分个人电脑市场的增长,个人电脑行业的整体消费者满意度获得了提升。

    这一改变在苹果(Apple)身上体现得尤为显著。自推出iPad平板电脑以来,苹果公司的市场占有率得到了提升。苹果在2012年美国消费者满意度指数调查中继续稳居第一,在100分制中获得了86分。但这一得分较上年仍有所下降,可能是由于Windows系统个人电脑和其他平板电脑的满意度上升。“苹果产品一直以来都拥有更高的满意度,”NPD Group的行业分析副总裁斯蒂芬•贝克称。

    苹果不是唯一一家美国消费者满意度指数上升的公司。虽然惠普(Hewlett-Packard)和宏基(Acer)2012年第二季度的PC发货量都出现了下降,惠普降幅13%,宏基降幅14%,但它们的满意度也都略有提升,都获得了79分的成绩。戴尔(Dell)得分79分,较上年提高了5分。同样,戴尔第二季度的个人电脑总发货量也同比下降了10%。东芝(Toshiba)首次上榜,得分77分,虽然其在美国的个人电脑发货量也下降了20%。

    即便是三星(Samsung)、亚马逊(Amazon)这类规模相对较小的制造商,总体的美国消费者满意度指数得分也有所提升,较2011年上升4%至80分,同期总发货量增加了12%。

    大部分满意度都源于个人电脑易用性和可靠性的提升。 “评分和设备质量有非常紧密的关联,”美国消费者满意度指数的董事总经理大卫•范安布格称。“我们发现消费者投诉和拨打售后服务电话的数量确实呈现下降。表示最近与售后服务中心打过交道的人数减少,表明此类问题已不那么普遍。”

    便携式电脑的尺寸也被视为是满意度提升的一个因素。如今的便携式电脑不仅更薄更轻,功能也更强大。“便携式电脑正在经历一次革命,”范安布格对《财富》杂志(Fortune)称。“这使得便携式电脑比十年前更有吸引力。”

    当然,功能提升和尺寸缩小也推动了平板电脑的销售,消费者发现平板电脑打开包装即可上手。“平板电脑给消费者带来了终极的即插即用体验,”IHS iSuppli负责显示器和平板电脑的高级经理罗达•亚历山大表示。“它很容易上手,立刻就可以使用。这类设备对用户很友好,消费者一旦用上就再也放不下,和我们过去看到的情况大不相同。”

    平板电脑不会完全取代个人电脑。如今平板电脑大多被用作传统桌面电脑和便携式电脑的补充,用来看视频、查邮件和打游戏。它们依然是消费品,不是用于再创造的设备。相比之下,生产和工作领域仍由传统个人电脑一统天下。“完全只使用平板电脑的人不是很多,”贝克强调。

    Consumer satisfaction with PCs reached an all-time high last month. The American Customer Satisfaction Index reported that customer satisfaction with computers reached a score of 80, breaking the former high of 78.

    Not bad, considering traditional PCs are being supplemented by tablets, super-light laptops, and other emerging gadgets. Thing is, the improvement is driven in part by tablets, which consumers seem to enjoy using. A lot. As that segment of the computing market has grown overall customer satisfaction with the PC industry as a whole has picked up.

    This shift has been particularly notable for Apple (AAPL). The company's market share has grown since the introduction of iPad tablets. Apple remained on the top of the satisfaction list in 2012, ranking 86 out of 100. This is actually down from the previous year, possibly the result of a rise in satisfaction for Windows-based PCs and rival tablets. "Apple has had a higher satisfaction level with its products," says Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD Group.

    Apple isn't alone in getting a boost in the ACSI ratings. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Acer both made small gains and each attained scores of 79. These increases come even as those companies have seen shipments of computers fall in Q2 of 2012, with HP shipments down 13% and Acer down 14%. Dell (DELL) came in with a score of 79, ,戴尔up 5 points from last year. These numbers come as Dell's total PC shipments dropped 10% in the second quarter compared with a year prior. Toshiba made its debut on the list with a score of 77, while its saw a 20% fall in its U.S. PC shipments.

    Even the aggregate of smaller manufacturers, in which ACSI includes Samsung and Amazon (AMZN), has increased the overall customer satisfaction ratings. This group of smaller players saw a 4% increase in 2011 to 80, while its shipments increased by 12%.

    Much of the satisfaction continues to be driven by the fact that computers have just gotten easier to use and more reliable. "The ratings and the quality of the machines very much goes hand in hand," says David VanAmburg, managing director of the American Customer Satisfaction Index. "We've measured how customer complaints and customer care calls have really been on the decline. Fewer people noted that they had a recent interaction with customer care and that suggests those kinds of issues are less prevalent."

    The size of the devices on the laptop side has also been seen as a factor in increased satisfaction. Today's laptops are not only thinner and lighter but more powerful. "Laptops are going through a revolution of their own," VanAmburg told Fortune. "This has made the laptops far more attractive than they were 10 years ago."

    Of course, this computing power and smaller form factor are also driving sales of tablets, which consumers are finding easy to use right out of the box. "The device delivered to the consumer is the ultimate in plug and play," said Rhoda Alexander, senior manager for monitors and tablets at IHS iSuppli. "It is easy to pick up and start using immediately. It is a device that is user-friendly, and it is geared toward pulling the user into the experience and that's very different from what we've seen historically."

    Tablets are not entirely replacing PCs. They are being used as ancillary devices to the traditional desktops and laptops to watch videos, check email and play games. They remain consumption rather than creation devices. Productivity tasks, in contrast, are still the domain of traditional PCs. "There aren't a lot of people who are just using tablets," Baker emphasizes.

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