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IDC says 2013 will be one of the worst years yet for PCs

IDC has issued its latest report looking at the state of the PC industry. The company predicts that PC shipments will fall by 10.1% in 2013. This will be the worst year of contraction on record if IDC is correct.
 
IDC says that interest in PCs is very limited, giving little indication of positive growth other than replacing of existing systems. IDC is also predicting that sales of PCs will decline an additional 3.8% in 2014 before getting a little more positive in the long term.
 
IDC predicts that total PC shipments for 2013 will be a bit over 300 million units. That is only slightly ahead of the volume of PCs shipped in 2008.
 
"Perhaps the chief concern for future PC demand is a lack of reasons to replace an older system," said Jay Chou, Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide Quarterly PC Trackers at IDC. "While IDC research finds that the PC still remains the primary computing device – for example, PCs are used more hours per day than tablets or phones – PC usage is nonetheless declining each year as more devices become available.”
 
“And despite industry efforts, PC usage has not moved significantly beyond consumption and productivity tasks to differentiate PCs from other devices. As a result, PC lifespans continue to increase, thereby limiting market growth."
 
IDC does believe that 2-in-1 devices that can function as tablets and notebooks will drive some growth for Windows devices. IDC also predicts significant growth for Windows-based tablets with 29.3 million units in 2017 up from 7.5 million in 2013.

Source: IDC



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The Problem
By cscpianoman on 12/4/2013 11:47:32 AM , Rating: 4
1. Current technology with PCs accomplishes most of what anyone wants, including businesses. We don't need the latest and greatest Intel/AMD processor because last generations stuff is "good enough."

2. Tablets/Phones are eating into the industry. If I had a choice to buy a computer or tablet/phone right now it would be tablet/phone. My consumer limited dollars are speaking.

3. Software needs to catch up. Moore's law is great in all, but software only increases on a linear vs. exponential rate.

So, no surprise here that the PC industry is "slowing." It is not the end of PCs because we still need them for the vast amount of content creation we do.




RE: The Problem
By JediJeb on 12/4/2013 1:16:10 PM , Rating: 4
As with any technology, once you reach market saturation sales become based on maintenance and upgrade instead of adoption. If they don't break and there is no reason to upgrade, then sales are going to fall off. Same thing will happen with tablets once the market is saturated, they will need to have a major advantage to upgrading often or sales will fall off for those too.

Heck, my old AthlonXP computer at home still does all I need it to do, so unless I get into video editing or something that needs more power there is no reason to upgrade it. It started life as a PentiumII 300mhz and over about 5 years was turned into an AthlonXP 2400 going from 250MB ram to 2GB ram, that was back when fast paced changes were happening. How fast are things changing on a yearly basis now?


RE: The Problem
By Cypherdude1 on 12/4/2013 9:21:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"Perhaps the chief concern for future PC demand is a lack of reasons to replace an older system," said Jay Chou, Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide Quarterly PC Trackers at IDC.
I built my own PC not long ago. I bought and assembled an i7, 16 GB desktop system. I plan to run a special calculation intensive application. It will have formulas which will run the CPU at 85% or above. You could never do that with a tablet or smart phone:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-media/product-ga...

This Cyber Monday, I wanted to purchase 2 eVGA GTX770's but, for some reason, none of the eTailers are selling this card at nVidia's MSRP of $329:
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/nvidia-gtx-780-pr...
http://techreport.com/news/25570/nvidia-cuts-gtx-7...

I was hoping I could get a special for the GTX770's at $299 but it never happened. I wanted the GTX770's so I could use nVidia's CUDA-enabled GPU and Corel's VideoStudio X6 to render videos much faster than with just a CPU.


RE: The Problem
By robinthakur on 12/5/2013 11:58:26 AM , Rating: 2
I think laptop sales will curve downwards slower than traditional desktop PCs as they are at least more portable, even if they are noisy, fragile and heat up. Businesses have found out that you don't necessarily need to upgrade anymore as long as you don't install Microsoft's latest and greatest and games are now better handled by consoles and mobile which ensure that most people don't need those expensive new GPUs and CPUs. It's a perfect storm unfortunately...


RE: The Problem
By YearOfTheDingo on 12/4/2013 3:46:48 PM , Rating: 4
There're plenty of possible improvements to the desktop experience. Take WinFS, for instance. What the hell ever happened to it? I still remember seeing BeOS for the first time almost twenty years ago. It seems so logical to store file metadata in a relational database. Finding things on one's hard-drive still sucks. It's easier to find what some dead guy said two hundred years ago than to find what I wrote myself two weeks earlier.

A big part of the problem is that leadership in the tech sector don't know how to operate in a matured industry. Everyone is still in the chasing the headline mentality. If it's now in the news then it's not relevant. The reality is that tens of millions of people use their PC's everyday to do productive things. The present stagnation reflects just useful it is, such that it manages to reach a saturation point. There's no much growth from people learning about the virtues of the PC and wanting to have one--because everyone has one already.


RE: The Problem
By inperfectdarkness on 12/5/2013 5:58:45 AM , Rating: 2
You just precisely and eloquently detailed why the arguments against the Wii-U are essentially invalid. It is also the reason that I gave up desktop-gaming years ago--opting for power-laptops as a desktop-replacement.

I completely agree with your assessment. The need for "hardware refresh" has slowed considerably. Software is indeed the bottleneck now. I can think of no other reason why higher resolution screens (> 1080p) have been slow in coming, other than a lack of software warranting them. Desktop 30" monitors with WQXGA are a niche at best. I should have them in a 15" laptop by now. Thank god at least MSI isn't asleep at the wheel.


Doom and Gloom
By SAN-Man on 12/4/2013 10:41:43 AM , Rating: 3
Get's old.




RE: Doom and Gloom
By ClownPuncher on 12/4/2013 11:23:43 AM , Rating: 5
Most of us wouldn't want an off the shelf PC.


RE: Doom and Gloom
By JDHammer on 12/4/2013 12:18:09 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I build my own and I always will. I don't think i will go to tablet anytime soon, I mean what for? I have a smart phone that does what I need it to, I have no need for a laptop, so all i need is my custom built PC and a smart phone so... /shrug


RE: Doom and Gloom
By rechiel7890 on 12/4/13, Rating: -1
Bloat
By Ammohunt on 12/4/2013 1:23:57 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like OS bloat hasn't kept up with processor power. If anyone wants to increase perceived performance all you have to do is switch to an SSD like a new machine.




RE: Bloat
By Mitch101 on 12/4/2013 2:03:38 PM , Rating: 2
Ding! Ding! Ding!

Completely agree SSD's solve a huge number of issues all around perceived speed of someone's computer that's being held back by even the best of 7200rpm drives. No amount of hybrinate and pre-cache compares they are enhanced by going the SSD route.

This goes especially for laptops they become a whole new world especially if they had a 4200 or 5400rpm drive.

Even the more advanced users that get into editing a home video an SSD might make more sense than a new computer.


RE: Bloat
By jeffkro on 12/4/2013 4:00:03 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, you can thank netbooks for putting a stop to that. Now with tablets there is no way MS can still play that game.


RE: Bloat
By TakinYourPoints on 12/5/2013 2:51:21 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly this. Been using SSDs since 2009 and it has made the biggest difference in performance, given incremental increases in performance everywhere else.

My most consistent upgrade has been SSD capacity. I started with a 256GB SSD for about $700 in 2009, got a 512GB a few years later, and last week I got a 1TB for only about $500.

Very happy with how price per GB has been falling every year. Aside from that, everything else can really keep up. A three year old Sandy Bridge CPU is still completely viable and not much slower than a new Haswell.


Chrome is the next tablet OS
By vision33r on 12/4/2013 3:44:23 PM , Rating: 1
MS wants to destroy Chrome OS because it will run on tablets soon and it will be everywhere. Google is hoping that all apps will run off the cloud so they can sell content to you. And they make money from hosting, selling content, ads, and all vertical markets.

MS's marketing is eroding, other than Server and Office everything else has alternatives and they have no market lead in any other paid offerings.




RE: Chrome is the next tablet OS
By jeffkro on 12/4/2013 4:07:02 PM , Rating: 2
With the talk of combining android and chrome os we will be able to run all our android apps on our PC's. This will make chrome os more valuable to me than windows.


Intel's fault
By dgingerich on 12/4/2013 1:14:06 PM , Rating: 2
Intel beat down their competition, and then slowed down the rate of advancement. (If AMD had had a decent chance to get the original Slot A motherboards out on the market back in the day, they'd have made billions just taking a small part of the market, and we'd probably have processors twice as fast and twice as complex for cheaper. Instead Intel threatened to withold 440BX chipset supplies from any motherboard manufacturer who sold a Slot A motherboard, keeping AMD's adoption rate in the toilet.) The last three generations of Intel processors haven't had any significant advancement except for power consumption, and their chipsets have been at a standstill. They finally added USB 3.0, and it's only good for two ports! We've had that for years already! They finally made all their SATA ports 6Gb, but we've had at least that much for three generations already. They aren't advancing at all.

Because of this, people don't need new computers. My whole family is still on computers that are at least 5 years old, and the only reason they've upgraded memory is to upgrade to Windows 7 from XP. None of them have any intent on getting new systems. My younger sister is still using an old Pentium D desktop with 2GB of memory. My parents still use their old Athlon 4400+ machine.

Intel has dug themselves into this hole. Microsoft hasn't pushed Windows to use more memory since Vista simply because they don't think Intel is going to make more advanced stuff available for a while longer.

If Intel were to push processors into the 6 and 8 core range and memory controllers up to the 128GB range, people would build software to use that.

What we need is usable voice recognition that doesn't require hours of training to get the PC to understand us. We need 3D displays that don't require special glasses, real 3D instead of the tricks we use now. (Maybe layers of transparent OLED sheets would work for that.) We need systems that are capable of learning and adapting to user patterns and anticipate what they user needs.

When we get those, even one of those, we'll see things take off again. None of Intel's hardware, from the processor to the GPU to the chipset, can handle any of it because they haven't allowed their engineers to design systems that could handle it. We aren't likely to see any of this unless a competitor comes up from the depths and makes it available. Intel might respond then.




Win8 Isn't The Only Reason
By bitmover461 on 12/4/2013 1:16:37 PM , Rating: 1
But Win8 IS an epic fail. I used it for a year and the 8.1 update was such a disappointment that I just downgraded to Win7. The tragedy is it could have been a huge success with only minor changes - a REAL start menu IN DESKTOP MODE, and an install-time option to boot to the desktop. A short tutorial during the install (remember Win95?) would have been a huge improvement too. As someone who actually used Windows 3.0, it's inconceivable that MS screwed up this badly.




.
By andre-bch on 12/4/13, Rating: -1
RE: .
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/8/13, Rating: 0
"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher











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