Forget about the $600 iPhone and the slow and unreliable AT&T cellular network, I want one of those hot new pink notebooks from Dell that looks fit for Reese Witherspoon's character in Legally Blonde. At least that's what Dell is hoping for, take away just a little bit of the unprecedented buzz for the iPhone and shine just a little light on its new line of notebook computers available in an array of colors ranging from flamingo pink to sunshine yellow. Who do you think Dell is targeting these new notebook computers to? Right, young people. The problem and challenge for Dell is simple, yet large. Over the past two years, there has been a seismic shift in purchase intent and actual follow on purchases in the notebook computer category. Where there was once a time not so long ago where it was Dell, Dell, and yes, Dell, that just isn't the case anymore. Apple's Macbook has put quite a dent in Dell's reign over the past 18 months. With special students discounts and features and functionality we've detailed in great almost boring length at this point in previous Youth Trends reports and this blog, it has been a ninth inning grand slam home run. Now, going back to the problem...The key is all about purchase intent and then converting those intenders into customers. What we don't see right now is lots of intenders. Typically, about 16 to 20% of teens and college students purchase a new computer each year, of course the overwhelming majority of those purchases (more than 80%) are for notebook computers. According to our latest research purchase intent for a new computer is just over 10%, a rather sharp decrease from what we've seen previously and consistently. Essentially, what we believe is that for the most part, young people purchased or received their computer of choice in the past 18 months so were embarking on the down part of the purchasing cycle. Six to 12 months from now, we'll start heading upwards again, but right now from a youth market standpoint, this could be the most inopportune time to introduce a new line of computers. I would also say this time will include the upcoming mega crucial back to school shopping season when almost three out of four computers are purchased. We'll go ahead and field our back to school retail and shopping report in about four weeks and we'll either confirm what we're seeing right now in terms of the lower purchase intent levels, or we'll have some different news, news that would certainly benefit the struggling computer maker from Round Rock.