Anthony, I hadn't priced AmazUK and thanks for that update. These price fluctuations, I believe, destabilize consumers' interest in buying. Like JR lamenting he was "buying at the wrong time". And like Kerry pointed out (as have others) in other threads, "People don't feel a need to buy new - their old computers are doing just fine."
I've seen few articles lamenting The Killer App that would force consumers into new hardware. The 3Tb+ limit that UEFI and OS-64s can break is a good reason BUT at a price premium? Obviously, the market forces have been screaming NO THANKS.
Lately, I've seen Kaspersky 2013 installed and complain about IE 8 - "This is too vulnerable for K-2013 to protect well, so be warned."
This is one more pinprick against XP, therefore - but fatal? "No, I'll just use Firefox as my default..." is a good answer. XP still has programs that are critical to productivity in many businesses, and when those places consider the massive UI training costs plus the OS costs, many of them will say, "Take the production floor to the Linux flavors, instead... if workers have to learn something new, let's minimize the costs."
That's what, I think, the Consumer Market is doing. Price fluctuations breed this "buying at the wrong time" sentiment, and it also breeds a feeling of being exploited and fleeced. How many of us enjoy having that done twice?
As you write, they need to get the prices down, stabilized and that's what can open the purchasing again. I do wonder if they've simply flushed the whole market away, though. "I don't do anything productive on the computer anyway - why buy a new one? I'll use a smartphone to Google up anyone's address - that's the biggest Need I have."
After all, we've seen James Bond save the world via his smartphone for the last 3 films. The PC MUST be dead!