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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 amanojaku on 4/11/2013 11:54:09 AM , Rating: 2
I don't believe Win8 has much to do with it, either. People just don't line up to buy a $500+ PC just because a new OS comes out, especially when it can run on existing hardware. Well, maybe the Macolytes do, but they're used to shelling out ridiculous sums of money for anything "new"...

My Windows PC finally died after seven years, and it did everything I needed because I didn't game on it. MS Office, Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, VLC for my DVDs and CDs... All in HD with 5.1 surround sound.

I just serviced a woman's OS X PC, which was also seven years old. It did all of the Office tasks she needed, without an upgrade in all that time. And it was her main PC, despite the fact that she had a new MacBook Air.

PC's are simply more reliable than they used to be, and the performance gains aren't necessary for the average user. Add to that the rise of the smartphone, tablet and console. I don't have either of the first two, but my Wii is now doing the media work that my PC did, minus VLC and MS Office. In fact, if Office came out for the Wii, and the Wii supported network storage and more CODECS, I would probably never buy a PC again.

MS needs to do what Apple is doing: focus on the smartphone and tablet. And it needs to make Office available on the next Xbox Whatever for a reasonable price (no subscriptions), since the user base is reportedly 76 million. Windows is increasingly becoming a business-only OS, and businesses are slow to upgrade, especially in light of unnecessary performance and complexity.


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