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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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Microsoft AND INTEL are to blame
By Nexing on 4/11/2013 11:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
This report seems to be coherent in most ideas, but it is incomplete at best.
Win8 lack of start button and forced functionalities are just symptoms of Microsoft actual Marketing Strategy based on discriminating prices by way of segmenting its products, which means for instance, they now want to sell via add-on apps their Media players and whatever functions will be needed in the future. Same as their actual offer of Office (365) yearly rent.
They see this as the initial steps to control and charge for "their Ecosystem" growth, but instead don't seem to realize that it is already costing the Industry and them.
Why? Because Microsoft insists in centralizing and owning the ecosystem. Now even manufacturing their own hardware: game consoles, tablets, phones, kinect, etc), instead of doing what they should already have done years ago: Signing integration agreements with successful external companies like Philips/GE for light controlling, Parrot, Blue tooth, and the Plethora of Audio, Video, photo, Design, Office, Engineering and else Soft/hardware makers, including house appliances and car/bikes and really everything accessories.
In sum, Microsoft has proven to not have the capacity or aim to facilitate a wide ecosystem for the user, except for their comparatively petty in-house generated initiatives in that direction... which ultimately slowed down the appearance of visible ecosystem synergies. All this while potential customers kept adopting better phones, acquiring tablets and now are postponing PC/Laptop buys.

There is another important contributing factor for the 2013 sales decline that the report fails to acknowledge: INTEL.
Yes, their centrism put the brake to their CPU and chipset offerings, particularly since their CORE families outpowered AMD products by a wide margin. To signal a proof, when they moved from Sandy to Ivy bridge, their fabrication process evolved from 32nm to 22nm, but customers only saw a 6% of performance increase, while many of the thermal and associated potential battery gains , were discarded when INTEL replaced the CPU's efficient enclosure soldered joint with a worse thermal paste instead. This was expensive arrogance as we now know. Another example is INTEL refusal to replace the chipset lithography fabrication process, that was kept at 90 nm till this year (possibly they were focused in keeping active their extensive old plants, a consequence of their long standing refusal to manufacture for third parties).
These two potential upgrades could have yielded important battery life improvements for Laptops and Ultrabooks (and notebooks) allowing those to compete in a crucial comparison factor with the ever-popular tablets and other small mobiles.

Add all said to their dominating position that permits INTEL and Microsoft to pretend keeping their respective Chips and OS prices at the same levels they have been costing to manufacturers, who in turn have suffered the major impact in lowering sales and thinning margins...
In fairness, these two companies both share a significant part of the blame for the actual Low Sales situation.

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs

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