Topeka Capital analyst Brian White is travelling around Taipei this week and firing off short notes on what he’s hearing.In an ominous note yesterday, he seemed to suggest Facebook was about to release a phone and Apple should be careful who it trusts. (Apple is reportedly going to integrate Facebook into iOS.)
The most interesting tid-bit in today’s note is about Windows 8. Microsoft is planning a big overhaul of its operating system, and at least one computer maker is sceptical it’s going to work.
Here’s White’s note. We’ve bolded the most relevant part:
More 3Q12 Uncertainty, Notebook Vendor Not Thrilled with Windows 8. Our meeting with a global notebook vendor also highlighted expectations for sequential unit growth in 2Q12; however, the uncertainty around 3Q12 is growing and the company is requesting deposits of 30% when working with certain customers in Europe. In fact, we were told that certain competitors are concerned with a sequential unit decline in the September quarter. In sync with the rest of the notebook vendors, our contact will ramp an Ultrabook in 3Q12 but at a price point of around $900; however, pricing is expected to fall in 4Q12. Our contact indicated that Microsoft (MSFT-$29.23: NR) Windows 8 should enter production in July and notebooks with the new operating system could be on the shelves by as early as September (even if not officially yet announced by Microsoft). During our conversation, we noticed a general lack of enthusiasm around Windows 8 for the notebook computer market and uncertainty around the success of the launch this fall. In fact, our contact will monitor the acceptance around Windows 8 before launching a tablet around the new operating system. Finally, there was hostility directed toward the leading HDD vendors during our meeting because the company was told that HDD pricing is expected to change little until the later part of 2013. This is in contrast to prior meetings where price cuts were discussed.