Lenovo and its rivals have been counting on the latest version of Microsoft's operating system, Windows 8, to help bolster PC sales. So far, it doesn't appear to be helping much. NPD, another tech research firm, last week said that U.S. sales of Windows 8 devices during the initial four-week launch of Windows 8 dropped 21 percent compared with the same period a year ago.
However, Smith said that six months down the road, people will look back and determine the Windows 8 launch was pretty consistent with prior releases of the software
And as CNET noted yesterday, touchscreen PCs generally are selling well. That's resulting in widespread supply shortages, but Smith said that should get better soon.
"As you go through any major architectural transition, you try to forecast accurately how much the attach rate will be on touch [or other features]," he said. "Across every major [shift] over the past 10 years, we're never right
. The learning is, how do you respond to that? How does the industry change and evolve?"
In the case of touch, Smith said the industry will have to evaluate how it was so off about the demand and figure out what it can do to prevent that in the future.