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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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PCs have matured
By TakinYourPoints on 4/11/2013 6:14:38 PM , Rating: 3
I posted about this in the Hon Hai thread yesterday. I reckon that this is a huge reason for their drop in income this quarter since they manufacture for almost every OEM out there.

Dell and others are so quick to jump on blaming Windows 8 for their troubles, but I don't think that's so simple. Windows 8 isn't very good but it doesn't do enough to explain the decline in hardware sales.

Its more important that PCs last much longer than they used to and everybody already has one. The time of bi-annual upgrades for consumers is over, that's it. I'm a hardcore PC gamer with a 2560x1440 display, and even I've been able to hang onto my 2009 i7 860 for three and a half years (GPU upgrade to a GTX 680 is the only upgrade I made a year ago).

I'm an edge case situation and even I haven't had much reason to upgrade. Even more gamers are happy hanging onto their old Core Duos and Quads.

Now, consider that gamers make up a niche of PC sales. If your average user or business (the bulk of PC sales) are fine with their older equipment, and they're also better served by portable electronics like smartphones and tablets that do many of the same thing they use their PC for (web, email, etc), it does a lot to explain why PC sales have slowed so much.




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