SINGAPORE: Four out of every five Asian consumers are planning a touch-enabled notebook as their next computing purchase, a new survey has found.

Market intelligence company IDC's end-user survey of consumers in the Asia Pacific region – including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan – found the explosion in the use of smartphones and tablets was also driving a preference for touchscreens in personal computers.

Fully 82% of respondents indicated they would buy a touchscreen notebook but IDC said only 6% of notebooks being shipped to the region in the first half of the year had this facility.

"It's ironic that as PC market growth continues to go south, customers' need for touch-enabled screens isn't being met yet," said Handoko Andi, research manager for Client Devices at IDC Asia/Pacific.

He explained that one reason for the "glaring discrepancy" was simple bad timing, as high panel prices earlier in the year had deterred PC makers from producing more affordable options, a situation that was changing in the course of the second half.

Another driver, said IDC, was the lack of touch-enabled applications, which was forcing users back to using legacy apps in the traditional desktop mode of Windows 8 rather than the touch-optimized Modern user interface.

"While IDC believes that touch-enabled screens will eventually become the new standard of the industry, touch-enabled apps that are relevant to PC end users will be the crux of a much faster penetration in Asia," stated Andi.

IDC's survey also highlighted the diversity in the way connected devices were perceived and used across the region.

Thus, Chinese consumers mostly (47%) used tablets for watching TV and videos, while Malaysians (45%) were more likely to use them for playing games. And 21% of Indonesians used them to entertain their children, double the regional average.

Taiwanese consumers were especially interested in screen sizes – it was the only country where this factor ranked in the top three priorities for both tablets and PCs. Indian respondents, however, were the most likely to focus on battery life.

Data sourced from IDC; additional content by Warc staff