- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 24, 2012

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (AP) - Samsung Electronics Co. said Wednesday it expects 10 percent growth in PC sales by volume this year as it bets on new PCs that are hybrids of laptops and tablets to lift sluggish PC demand.

Samsung’s PC team chief said the company hopes the ATIV series of laptops and tablets, which are powered by a new version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system, would help lift its sales at a difficult time for the PC industry.

“We expect a 10 percent annual growth by volume and 25 percent growth by sales this year as we increase shipments and introduce premium products,” Samsung’s Executive Vice President Nam Seong-woo said at a media briefing.

Samsung is among the many global PC makers hoping that Windows 8 will help them lure back consumers who have flocked to smartphones and tablets.

Research firms have scaled back their forecasts for annual PC sales because of the weak global economy, which is pressuring corporate spending, and heightened competition from makers of smartphones and tablet PCs. IHS iSuppli said worldwide PC shipments will post the first decline in 11 years in 2012.

In addition to other Windows 8 products by Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard and Sony, Samsung’s ATIV series also faces competition from Samsung’s own Galaxy series of smartphones and tablets that fueled Samsung’s rise as the world’s top-selling manufacturer of mobile devices.

Samsung tried to remain upbeat about the PC market.

“Some say it is the post-PC era. But it is the new era for PCs that is emerging,” Nam said. “Smart PCs should be seen as one of the mobile devices.”

Powered by Windows 8, the ATIV Smart PCs support touch-based features such as tapping and swiping the 11.6-inch screen to start programs. It comes with a detachable keyboard and Samsung added a digital pen and note-taking software to attract tablet PC buyers.

Samsung is starting sales of the ATIV Smart PCs later this week when other Windows 8 devices will go on sale globally.

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