Lower tech product sales=Positive? In terms of the PC market the answer is yes, well at least if the name of your company is Apple.  PC Credit Suisse (CS) analysts are back from their trip to Asia doing channel checks, and they project lower PC sales. However, they predict that Apple will be able to compensate for the lower computer sales with higher tablet sales. Other companies more reliant on PC sales may not fair as well. Whether their low valuation is already discounted in their stock price is the million dollar question. Here are the key points for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and other tech companies.

apple lower pc sales but higher tablet sales credit suisse
Via Credit Suisse

Lowering PC estimates on mixed data near term, macro weakness

Following their trip to Asia which showed softness in PC demand, Intel’s preannouncement, macro headwinds in developed countries, and the Chinese market which declined last quarter for the first time in 15 years as well as a pause in demand prior to Windows 8 we cut our PC forecasts for 2H12. They are currently looking for 88mn/92mn PC units in Q3/Q4 (3%/4% q/q), and 355mn/365mn units in 2012/2013 implying growth of -3%/+3% yoy for 2012/2013. CS believes PC unit growth will remain at ~1% LT.

Tablets driving incremental compute demand to 760mn units LT

They view tablets as compute devices that will continue to cannibalize PCs. For 2012, They now forecast 112mn (+71% y/y) tablet shipments, up from 110mn previously. This will account for 24% of total compute device volumes. For 2013, they forecast 171mn (+53% y/y) tablet units. Based on their proprietary price point analysis, tablets will continue to substantially serve the sub-$500 market. This analysis, coupled with increasing signs of enterprise adoption, supports their tablet forecast of 370mn units in 2016 (49% of compute demand).

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) only vendor with sustainable advantages.

CS believes Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) remains privileged in the compute market on account of its ability to simultaneously and competitively address key segments of the compute market (PCs, tablets, smartphones) resulting in structural, self-perpetuating advantages. They believe Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) can growth its tablet units 67%/54% to 66mn/94mn in 2012/13 and grow Macs by 5%/9% to 19mn/20mn.

HP and Dell losing share

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ)’s high exposure to the mature and low growth PC segment with heightened competition from Asian vendors, compounded by no presence in the tablet space, positions the company poorly in the overall compute market. They believe Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ)s weak positioning within emerging markets will also impact the company’s ability to grow within the PC market. CS projects Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ)’s PC units to decline 7.5% in 2012 and remain flat through 2013 yielding a 15% market share. In their view,  Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) lacks a strong product portfolio within tablets and its PC offering faces headwinds from a weak PC market. In addition we believe many of the improved cost dynamics have already been factored in while the component cost environment for the company may have worsened. As such they expect Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL)’s PC units to decline 0.4%/8.3% in CY 2012/13 yielding 12%/11% unit share.

Disclosure: No position