Citigroup downgraded Intel, AMD and Nvidia and told clients that it now believes the PC market will contract in 2012.
The new assessment is a major turn for the PC market forecast and reflects a storm that is brewing above the industry. Analyst Glen Yeung said that less than 5 percent of the PC production in H2 2012 integrates touch screens and therefore "negates" the advantage of the new Windows 8 UI. Touchscreens remain expensive and Microsoft is also putting a high price tag on Windows RT, which requires notebook makers to bundle Office with the OS.
While he says that tablets will be impacting PC sales, there seems to be an indirect blame on Microsoft that it did not prepare hardware makers and its customers enough for the arrival of Windows 8. Windows 8 may sell just like any other Windows OS before and achieve record sales, but the new UI is Windows 8's Achilles' heel: If the hardware to support the UI is not available, and if the available hardware does not make sense in a user scenario, Windows 8 could fail.
Yeung reduced his stock forecast for Intel from $32 to $25.75, AMD from $6.50 to $4.25 and Nvidia from $16.50 to $15.25.