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PC industry slumps as Windows 8 fails to drive upgrades

Manufacturers in the computer industry were optimistic for the launch of Windows 8. Computer manufacturers and Microsoft hoped that the launch of Microsoft's latest version of its Windows operating system would spur consumers and businesses to upgrade and buy new PCs. However, IDC reports that Windows 8 did not have the impact expected for the computer market.

The research has offered up its numbers for Q4 2012 for the computer industry, and the results are far from positive. IDC reports that worldwide PC shipments totaled 89.8 million units in Q4 2012, representing a decline of 6.4% compared to Q4 2011. The decline during Q4 was worse than the forecasted decline of 4.4% for the computer market.

Lackluster sales during Q4 2012 marked the first time in more than five years that the PC market has seen a year-over-year decline during the holiday shopping season. The computer market continues to be challenged with the growing popularity of tablets and smartphones that many consumers are purchasing instead of upgrading computers.

"Lost in the shuffle to promote a touch-centric PC, vendors have not forcefully stressed other features that promote a more secure, reliable and efficient user experience,” said Jay Chou, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. “As Windows 8 matures, and other corresponding variables such as Ultrabook pricing continue to drop, hopefully the PC market can see a reset in both messaging and demand in 2013."

HP maintained the top position in the worldwide rankings for Q4 2012. Lenovo outpaced the market with growth of over 8% landing in the second place for the global computer market. Rounding out the top five PC vendors in order by sales volume are Dell, Acer, and ASUS.

Source: IDC

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RE: Apple bias?
By Tony Swash on 1/11/2013 3:41:44 PM , Rating: 2
MAc shipments arent enough to make a dent. They have about the same marketshare as Blackberry does on smartphones...

However unlike Blackberry in the phone market Macs take a disproportionately large slice of all PC profits. Apple guts the PC market of the best business and leaves the rest to Windows.

RE: Apple bias?
By retrospooty on 1/11/2013 3:45:30 PM , Rating: 2
True dat. Apple makes a bundle on Macs and RIMM is dropping prices on BB's to avoid inventory sitting on shelves that wil never sell.

But still, as far as marketshare, not alot of people use them. If you dont play games or use it at an enterprise level workplace its basically as good as a PC, but not better. No reason to switch when with a PC you can do all of that and more and do it faster and be more compatible.

RE: Apple bias?
By Mint on 1/11/2013 4:42:26 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know that "take" is the right word. If Apple wasn't there, I don't think PC makers would earn much more (probably less, since there's no "look at how much Apple is charging" anymore). None of them have that secret sauce that makes Apple buyers pay for the higher margins Apple charges.

Win8 tablets will start putting negative pressure on their margins, though. The iPad has long been top dog with tablets, but with large smartphones replacing much of their usage (mobile web access, email, apps) and Win8 hybrids doing the same from the top end, ARM tablets are getting squeezed into a niche. I say there are ~18 months left for Apple to milk high margins from the iPad. It'll go the way of the iPod after that.

RE: Apple bias?
By TakinYourPoints on 1/11/2013 6:06:50 PM , Rating: 2
Pretty much. Comparable machines to the Macbook Pros are things like high end Lenovos and HP Elitebooks, and I don't see more users grabbing them up if Apple wasn't around.

At least it wouldn't be enough to make a difference. You'd have some of the pro market that Apple caters to buying those machines instead of a MBP, but that is such a tiny market compared to the juggernaut that is $600 notebooks and the even cheaper netbooks from a few years ago.

I got my first Mac a little over ten years ago strictly as a video editing workstation, and if you thought the Mac market is small now, it was TINY back then. Their desktops were basically aimed just at professionals, which is a fine market but again, miniscule. Their market has widened a bit since then but it is still much more focused than the more mainstream and consumer oriented machines that made up the bulk of WinXP/7 license sales.

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
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