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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: no one is buying prebuilt pc's
By bsd228 on 4/11/2013 3:11:46 PM , Rating: 2
because people have caught on that you can have your 10 year old son/cousin/neighborhood kid build a roaring machine from components for 1/3rd the cost of a comparable hp/dell/whaever, pc sales should be expected to sink.

1/3rd? Have you actually done this, and who is the vendor you're comparing to?

I've built one or two computers a year since the 90s. Rarely is there considerable cost savings. Dell and HP buy by the 1000s, I buy by the one. And PC margins have been thin since the 90s, which is why you don't see many local computer stores anymore. The vanilla PC sales model doesn't pay off.

No, I build so that for roughly the same money (+/- 10%), I can pick the components and avoid any marginal parts taken to save $10 in profit. I am particularly picky about the case and the power supply and will pay substantially more than then had I gone with those big vendors.

Even if you look at someone like Puget Sound, a boutique that makes some really well engineered PCs for a very substantial markup, you're not seeing a 3:1 price differential on parts. They might be at 50% over, and that's if you discount time and their experimentation. Which is valuable. If you're only making one at a time once a year like me, you learn much more slowly than if you're doing one a week. This is particularly notable in the quiet PC space that PS is well known for.

RE: no one is buying prebuilt pc's
By Motoman on 4/11/2013 3:38:41 PM , Rating: 2
Here's an HP unit right on their website for $319.

Dual-core CPU, 4Gb RAM, 500Gb HD, etc. etc. And Win8, naturally.

I'm sure he could build that for ~$106.

You can only really save money when you're talking about building a gaming rig, or maybe a server. There's big margin in those. Regular, mainstream desktops (and laptops) have little, if any, margin. The really cheap stuff, potentially like this $319 desktop, are often sold as loss-leaders to try to get you to buy more stuff on top of it.

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