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IDC blames smartphones and tablets for sharp PC decline

Research firm IDC has posted the numbers for worldwide PC shipments in Q1 of 2013, and they show the steepest decline ever in a single quarter since the company has been monitoring the industry. Global PC shipments during Q1 of 2013 totaled 76.3 million units. That number represents a decline of 13.9% compared to the same quarter in 2011.

The posted decline in Q1 of 2013 was nearly twice the expected decline of 7.7% according to IDC. IDC also notes that the poor showing in Q1 marks the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year shipment declines for the industry. Computer shipments in the U.S. declined by 12.7% year-over-year and declined 18.3% compared to Q4 2012.
IDC says that despite mild improvement in economic environment around the world and some new PC models with Windows 8 shipments were down significantly across all regions compared to the same quarter of 2012.

Declining mini notebook shipments took a big chunk out of the low-end market with tablets and smartphones also contributing to divert significant spending from the computer industry. IDC also reports that weak reception for Windows 8 has hurt the industry and computer makers continue to struggle to differentiate themselves from others on the market.

"At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market," said Bob O'Donnell, IDC Program Vice President, Clients and Displays. "While some consumers appreciate the new form factors and touch capabilities of Windows 8, the radical changes to the UI, removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices. Microsoft will have to make some very tough decisions moving forward if it wants to help reinvigorate the PC market."

HP is still the top computer vendor but its worldwide shipments fell more than 23% year-over-year. Lenovo remained in second place and came close to closing the gap between it and HP. Lenovo posted double-digit, year-over-year growth in the U.S.

Source: IDC

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By datdamonfoo on 4/11/2013 10:42:50 AM , Rating: 0
Please, Windows 8 haters, explain to me how Windows 8 caused Apple to have a 7.3% decline in sales.

The opinion column that is the IDC is a joke, and people who report the IDC's objectivity without questioning their logic are a joke as well.

By datdamonfoo on 4/11/2013 10:43:20 AM , Rating: 2
I meant "objectivity".


By Mitch101 on 4/11/2013 11:44:56 AM , Rating: 2
Hmm did they over look a Down Economy and a lower than expected new job report?

Also there hasnt been any new CPU's and GPU's or even devices recently that I can think of that would give enough of a boost to consider upgrading anything.

Not sure about others but I wont buy another tablet until H.265 is supported in hardware otherwise Im fine with the tablet I have.

I also suspect people are not going as crazy for incremental hardware updates and have a feeling of being satisfied with what they currently have and Market Saturation is probably playing a role. Do they need another tablet, laptop, or desktop or is the existing one doing the job if not an SSD adds new life to an aging existing PC instead of upgrading anything else.

My 2 cents the tech sector seems boring right now.

By Belard on 4/11/2013 4:26:19 PM , Rating: 2
Windows7 market share actually went up over the same quarter.

People are still buying tablets and phones... they are not buying these crappy $300~400PCs (they are slower than the PC desktops/notebooks from 2 years ago).

By mindless1 on 4/12/2013 12:28:42 AM , Rating: 3
It's not that they're not buying because they're crappy, it's that the average person doesn't do HD video editing or play the latest 3D games. 5 year old $400 systems are more than enough to do Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

The average person today gets a new PC only when the cost to repair one they own that failed, exceeds the value of the system by quite a bit... usually by over twice what it is worth from what I've seen.

I don't put much stock in marketshare figures though, not with the most pirated OS on earth and techies generally giving Vista the thumbs down when they saw a chance to upgrade again and be rid of it.

By Belard on 4/12/2013 9:43:06 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with you 100%. I didnt properly separate two parts of my posts. The second part is that today's low end PCs are really bottom end nowadays. They make desktops that don't even have PCIe slots.

By Motoman on 4/12/2013 11:41:36 AM , Rating: 2
...and what is the average person going to put in a PCIe slot - that didn't already come as built-in to the PC?

99% of all people who buy a PC never open the case for any reason. Either something gets plugged into a USB port, or it doesn't happen.

By sprockkets on 4/11/2013 10:46:06 AM , Rating: 2
They bought apple ipads. It isn't just a shift in OS, but form factor.

Lenovo is the only OEM to have increased sales. Some reasons for that were given on the ars thread, where both HP and Dell are making it hard to buy their products for smaller businesses.

By TakinYourPoints on 4/12/2013 12:58:15 AM , Rating: 2
It isn't just a shift in OS, but form factor.

Yuuuup. When portable devices can do what people use over half their PC time on, those portable devices will get used instead. Now that common uses don't require you being tethered to a desktop, desktop usage will fall accordingly.

Of course you need a desktop for things like hardcore video encoding, data entry, creating long documents, etc etc, but you do not need one for email, web, music, forum browsing, or even all games anymore.

By Motoman on 4/11/2013 10:48:19 AM , Rating: 3
...where did you get that?

At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market

This is the reality of Win8. It's such a tragic, horrific POS that it's killing the traditional desktop/laptop market all by itself. The failure of the Metrosexual UI is complete.

Apple's falling status has nothing to do with Win8. If anything, people who look at Win8 are going to suddenly become significantly more likely to buy an iThing instead. Android is what's been putting the screws to Apple.

By datdamonfoo on 4/11/2013 10:59:16 AM , Rating: 2
Where did I get that? Read the article. Apple's drop in sales is excused while all others are the fault of Windows 8. It's a double standard that doesn't hold up. The desktop computer market is down because people have less to spend, computers are lasting longer, and people are buying mobile devices. It has almost nothing to do with the OS, especially since we see that OSX is dropping as well.

By Motoman on 4/11/2013 11:14:07 AM , Rating: 1
Apple's drop in sales is excused while all others are the fault of Windows 8.

The word "Apple" doesn't even appear in the article.

Besides, any drop in Apple sales certainly has nothing to do with Win8. Win8 should be increasing Apple sales, if anything. Apple is losing marketshare to Android - not Windows 8.

By datdamonfoo on 4/11/2013 11:15:02 AM , Rating: 2
You aren't reading the actual IDC article. Read the article from the link provided.

By datdamonfoo on 4/11/2013 12:19:57 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, I gave you the benefit of the doubt on reading comprehension.

Re-read my original comment (slowly?). It is VERY obvious that I talk about the IDC first, you know, the article that is linked to on this page, and then make reference to journalists who parrot their opinions.

By GotThumbs on 4/11/2013 11:22:15 AM , Rating: 2
I think we're responding to different comments.

But if you click on the source of the will see that Apple experienced a 7.5% drop....based on the IDC research at least.

Best wishes,

By TakinYourPoints on 4/12/2013 1:43:54 AM , Rating: 2
The desktop computer market is down because people have less to spend, computers are lasting longer, and people are buying mobile devices. It has almost nothing to do with the OS, especially since we see that OSX is dropping as well.

Exactly, this is all about desktop and laptop hardware lasting much longer than they used to. Ten years ago there were tangible benefits to bi-annual upgrades, even if you didn't use your computer for gaming. Now a computer even for niche gaming purposes lasts much longer, and for the massive "normal" userbase it is even longer.

A 2007 PC is perfectly viable for the majority of users out there, even longer for most businesses, and that's a problem for an industry that previously leaned on people upgrading more frequently.

By GotThumbs on 4/11/2013 11:06:45 AM , Rating: 3
From the article....did you read it?

Regarding WIN8....thats your opinion, but having used it and knowing its true potential... it's just a matter of people opening their minds and making some effort to learn more about it IMO. For instance...did you know you can use WIN8 as a home server OS and pool multiple drives into one single large drive (was part of WHS 1.0) to store your content? Check out We Got Served to learn more about the potential of Win8. I promise it won't hurt you to at least open your mind to the idea.

Most people resist change.... especially when they do not understand the advantages of the change. In time, I believe people will be less afraid of the transition.

Regarding Apple...well that again is your opinion...but I know its not case for everyone. No one in my family uses an Iproduct. All have Android OS phones and are quite satisfied with them. Now it may a case that my family is simply more apt at this than you give everyone credit.

In the end.... everyone will buy what they want...and thats fine with me.

I choose to retain full control over my content and how I get/load my content.

For example, I'm streaming my music through my tablet at work from my own personal cloud (WHS) using Subsonic. I own the content and I retain full control of it. With Apple...Apple has total control over your accounts and CAN cancel your account and delete all your content if they choose....with out recourse. Its in the Terms of Agreement.

Most people who are clueless tend to give up their freedom of choice...willingly IMO.

I don't think my family is all that unique...but maybe we simply like to think outside the parameters Apple wants people to think/feel.

Best wishes on your choice, but I fully disagree with your opinion.

By Motoman on 4/11/2013 11:11:39 AM , Rating: 2
From the article....did you read it?

I did. And re-read it, just to make sure. It makes no such reference to Win8 causing a decline in Apple sales.

In fact, the word "Apple" doesn't even exist in the article.

As for my opinion on Win8 - it's clearly the vastly more popular opinion than your's. Win8 is a total clusterf%ck. The Metrosexual UI is a square wheel trying to replace a round wheel. Any nice things that are bonuses in Win8 compared to Win7 are irrelevant in the face of having to deal with that horrifically malformed UI.

Luckily, Start8 et al are available to fix Microsoft's tragically broken OS, making it useful for actual people. Without such utilities, it's a Fisher-Price toy designed for, and by, children.

By datdamonfoo on 4/11/2013 11:15:44 AM , Rating: 2
Again, read the actual article. This is not the article.

By Motoman on 4/11/2013 11:22:27 AM , Rating: 2
See my reply above.

This is *the* article. You're making comments about another article, someplace else.

You should have actually said that, instead of saying "the article" - which by any stretch of logic would refer to *this* article, here, on this page.

By datdamonfoo on 4/11/2013 12:21:58 PM , Rating: 2
This is NOT the article. This is dailytech's summary of the article. The article referenced throughout is the IDC's actual report. I'm sorry you were confused, but a little critical thinking is necessary in these comments, I suppose.

By Motoman on 4/11/2013 11:26:35 AM , Rating: 2
This is really the only statement made about Apple in that *other* article:

Apple fared better than the overall U.S. market, but still saw shipments decline as its own PCs also face competition from iPads.

There's nothing in the article assigning blame or giving a free pass on any of this.

But I would speculate that perhaps the most clear reason why any decline in Apple sales isn't due to Windows 8 is probably the fact that Apple products don't come with Windows 8.

By datdamonfoo on 4/11/2013 12:23:00 PM , Rating: 2
You're kidding right? The entire article is lambasting Windows 8 for the decline of PC sales but it gives ONE line to Apple's decline? You don't see how this is just a little bit suspicious?

By Motoman on 4/11/2013 12:41:45 PM , Rating: 2
No. If Windows 8 had anything to do with Apple, I might...but as it is, and as I noted above, Apple products don't come with Win8. Ergo, people's hatred for Win8 categorically can't be responsible for Apple declines.

In fact, if anything, logic dictates that if people hate Win8 (they do), then they'd look for alternatives. Apple is an alternative to Win8.

By datdamonfoo on 4/11/2013 12:53:28 PM , Rating: 2
And yet its shipments are down. So, obviously, this probably has nothing to do with Windows 8. Which again, points out how biased the IDC's opinions appear to be.

By Motoman on 4/11/2013 1:35:21 PM , Rating: 3
What the...what?

OK first of all, I agree that the IDC, Gartner, Forrester, et al are full of sh1t on a full-time basis. I get that.

What I don't get is what point you think you're making. I really don't.

What is it that you think the IDC should have blamed for Apple's decline? It can't be Windows 8. It pretty much has to be Android. Or...WTF are you thinking?

By Varun on 4/11/2013 11:41:40 PM , Rating: 3
Um, maybe what he's saying is that if PC sales are DOWN due to Windows 8, why are Apple sales down? Your answer is Android.

More likely it's Android and iOS that is taking sales from Apple - but they are more than likely ALSO taking sales from Windows.

The netbook revolution kickstarted Windows XP and then 7 sales, but that low end of the market is essentially gone now to tablets.

Also, IDC is not counting Windows 8 tablets as PCs either, so their numbers are skewed.

In the end, this is doom and gloom for PC makers who suck (HP and Dell) and Lenovo is kicking butt because they know how to make well built machines that look great too.

By Ammohunt on 4/11/2013 12:00:51 PM , Rating: 3
Like it has been stated before Microsoft's main mistake with Windows 8 was lack of UI choice for a tradition of leaving the previous interface in the OS to allow people to transition to the Metro interface; it was forced on them with only "Trust us its better" people decided differently and people like me get to wipe Windows 8 off of old ladies laptops in order to put something familiar back on it like Windows 7(True Story).

That being said Windows 8 Tablet is not on my shopping list this year a new iPad for the old lady is. If i ever decided i needed one myself i would sooner go with a Nexus Tablet i believe i am not alone in this opinion. Windows 8 is a total and utter failure.

By datdamonfoo on 4/11/2013 12:23:49 PM , Rating: 1
The old UI is still in Windows 8.

By Motoman on 4/11/2013 12:42:42 PM , Rating: 2
Not having this argument again.

No, it's not. Parts of it are, fragmented about. But your assertion is false.

Just stop.

Win8 is a total trainwreck, and it is well and truly killing the Windows computer market.

By datdamonfoo on 4/12/2013 9:44:10 AM , Rating: 2
No, my assertions are not false. I actually use Windows 8 so I know what I'm talking about. You, on the other hand, just hear things 3rd hand.

By Motoman on 4/12/2013 11:43:02 AM , Rating: 2
Nope. I've had to fix Win8 up for a few people who can't use it. Have had plenty of time to decide for myself whether or not it's a POS.

It is.

By datdamonfoo on 4/12/2013 12:45:26 PM , Rating: 2
Tell me how it's a POS. Tell me just how different it is from Windows 7. Apparently I'm using it wrong because I've had no trouble with it. It works just like it did when I had Windows 7.

By Motoman on 4/12/2013 6:02:58 PM , Rating: 2
As noted, not having this argument again. Everyone with a brain has stated their reasons why Win8 is a massive POS an infinite number of times on an infinite number of websites, including this one.

You don't get to pretend you haven't seen them. Case closed. Go crawl back in your hole.

By Motoman on 4/12/2013 6:05:26 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and just for the sake of irony: RTFA.

Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market

...did you actually read this article? Win8 is such a trainwreck, and considered to be a POS by so many people, that it's actually what's causing the massive decrease in computer sales. So go back to suckling at Steve Ballmer's teat. The grown-ups have better things to do than keep babysitting the toddlers who want to play with their Fisher-Price UI.

By xti on 4/11/2013 12:03:01 PM , Rating: 2
the drop in sales is the form factor switch, more than anything...much more than whatever effect people think windows8 has.

if people cant see that they are just getting tablets because youtube and angry birds is the most processing power they need then idk what to tell ya...its obvious.

anything blaming any kind of majority blame on win8 is just hating.

By spamreader1 on 4/11/2013 11:41:19 AM , Rating: 3
Apples customer loyalty has been on decline. Their perception is having a paradigm shift again.

By 91TTZ on 4/11/2013 3:18:46 PM , Rating: 3
I'll answer that question.

I'm an Apple hater. Never had a Mac, never want one. Don't like Mac fans.

I'm a Microsoft guy and have been for 20 years. Even I hate Windows 8.

By Motoman on 4/11/2013 3:26:18 PM , Rating: 2
While I would second both of those motions...the question he posed actually doesn't make sense.

His assertion is that Windows 8 *caused* a decline in Apple sales?

Which makes not the slightest bit of sense.

First of all, Apple products don't come with Windows 8. So, if people are avoiding Win8, Apple isn't negatively affected by that.

Secondly, if people are avoiding Win8 (they are), they probably go off looking for alternatives - like iThings. Logically, the failure of Win8, if it has any impact on Apple sales at all, would *increase* Apple sales. Not decrease them.

Thirdly, I don't think it's any secret that Apple's downfall lately has been Android. Android is what's eating Apple's lunch - not Microsoft.

By Belard on 4/12/2013 9:46:09 AM , Rating: 2
I hate both apple and Microsoft. But I buy what works... Be it windows7 or the iPad I'm using to type this response with.

Until winXP, Microsoft had substandard operating systems.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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