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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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RE: Newsflash
By Tony Swash on 4/11/2013 1:55:06 PM , Rating: 0
I think we are entering a period when sales of the classic Windows desktop will decline for quite some time and probably eventually stabilise at a significantly lower level. There seems to be multiple reasons for this.

The primary reason is that activities that were traditionally done on a desktop PC are migrating to mobile devices and although mobile devices can't quite do everything that can be done on a traditional PC a very large number of people are finding that devices let them do everything they themselves did on PCs (how many people actually use Photoshop or create big complex spreadsheet and databases, or do heavy duty video editing on their PCs?). At the same time mobile devices can be used in many very useful ways that traditional PCs cannot. So devices are cutting into PC sales in a trend that will likely accelerate.

At the same time the incentives to upgrade PCs through a new purchase are slipping, people are using them less and the pace of technical improvement in the PC world has slowed. For a lot of people their current PC is quite good enough and will be kept until it dies.

Finally the Windows 8 gamble (and 'gamble' was Ballmer's description of it) looks like it has failed. The gamble was to change the desktop version of Windows in ways that were not necessarily useful for desktop users in order to leverage Windows growth in mobile devices by offering a single (if somewhat fractured) OS. It now looks increasingly certain that Windows Phone and Windows tablets have failed to gain significant traction in the market and all that is left is another reason not to upgrade one's PC (i.e. to avoid a forced migration to a new and quirky OS).

In my opinion Microsoft is a software company and should be focussing on producing top quality software for the rapidly growing iOS and Android platforms. If true the delay of an iOS/Android version of Office until is 2014 is leaving it awfully late. Everyday that passes makes Office less of a must have productivity tool and more and more people are learning to function perfectly productively without it.

RE: Newsflash
By Belard on 4/11/13, Rating: 0
"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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