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Google's Chromebook, however, manages to stay on top of its game

PC shipments have taken a hard hit since the advent of mobile electronics like tablets and smartphones, and while second quarter PC shipments show no different, some are managing to see some good in a bad situation -- like Lenovo, which managed to surpass Hewlett-Packard (HP) as the top PC vendor. 

According to a new Gartner report, worldwide PC shipments dropped 10.9 percent in Q2 2013 to 76 million units from the year-ago quarter. This represents the fifth consecutive quarter of decreased shipments. 

“We are seeing the PC market reduction directly tied to the shrinking installed base of PCs, as inexpensive tablets displace the low-end machines used primarily for consumption in mature and developed markets,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “In emerging markets, inexpensive tablets have become the first computing device for many people, who at best are deferring the purchase of a PC. This is also accounting for the collapse of the mini notebook market.”

Back in April, it was reported that PC industry sales had dropped nearly 14 percent in Q1 2013. 

However, Lenovo seems to be picking up in PC shipments. Gartner found that Lenovo passed HP as the top worldwide PC vendor for Q2 2013 with 12,677,265 shipments. HP came in second place with 12,402,887 for the quarter. 

But if you look at just U.S. shipments alone, HP is still on top with 3,957,761 Q2 shipments while Lenovo came in fourth place with 1,515,562 quarterly shipments. Dell came in second while Apple came in third. 

Despite the 10.9 percent decrease in PC shipments, there's one machine that seems to disregard the dwindling conditions of the PC market -- Google's Chromebook

According to NPD Group Inc., the Chromebook has gained 20 to 25 percent of the U.S. market for laptops under $300 in just the past eight months. The PC seems to be snagging market share and sales while the rest of the market is slumping. 

Chromebooks were introduced in June 2011 and treated like a stripped-down machine with limited abilities. They run the Google Chrome OS and use Web-based applications rather than traditional desktop applications that stay on the machine. 

There are a few different models made by Samsung, Acer, HP and Google (Chromebook Pixel). They start at $199 USD. 

Sources: Gartner, IDC, Bloomberg

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RE: Docks docks docks
By Motoman on 7/11/2013 12:19:19 PM , Rating: 2
Tablets cost more to make than a laptop of similar spec because of the fact that you've got ~50% less physical space to work in.

There will never be a day when it's cheaper or easier to make something half as big as something else. Physics.

RE: Docks docks docks
By japlha on 7/11/2013 1:24:26 PM , Rating: 5
Subway can build a 6 inch sandwich cheaper than their footlong's.
Did I just disprove physics?

RE: Docks docks docks
By Motoman on 7/11/2013 1:52:47 PM , Rating: 1
No, because you're being a dolt. Half a sandwich is half a sandwich.

A tablet with the same specs as a given laptop means cramming all the same electronic functionality into half of the space. Which means lots of problems figuring out the PCB, thermal dissipation issues, having to use smaller/more expensive components...and having close to no space for a battery.

Last time I checked, sandwiches don't need batteries.

RE: Docks docks docks
By karimtemple on 7/11/2013 2:33:51 PM , Rating: 2
Unless the specs were made to fit in half the space.

RE: Docks docks docks
By freedom4556 on 7/11/2013 6:27:40 PM , Rating: 2
No, because to do what he is suggesting would be like ordering a footlong and then putting it in a press to make it 6". Same sandwich, smaller space.

RE: Docks docks docks
By Motoman on 7/11/2013 6:51:32 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Somehow you'd have to get Subway to figure out how to double the density of the bread, meat, cheese, etc. such that you got the same food value from a 6" sandwich as a 12" sandwich.

So you go on and figure that out, and let us know how it goes.

RE: Docks docks docks
By karimtemple on 7/11/2013 1:31:21 PM , Rating: 2
LOL! The only way that statement is true is if the "similar spec" is some hot, greedy system that shouldn't have been put in a tablet in the first place.

Tablets cost less to make. We're paying Novelty Taxes right now.

RE: Docks docks docks
By Samus on 7/11/2013 1:59:49 PM , Rating: 3
reduced size/weight = reduced packing/shipping costs

thats a big deal for products manufactured 12,000 miles away

RE: Docks docks docks
By mjv.theory on 7/11/2013 3:20:19 PM , Rating: 2
Just got a very well made 9.7" Android tablet, with quad core A9's (RK3188 on GF 28nm - think Tegra 3.5ish) for £113 delivered ($170), so that includes air mail costs from China. I've played around with ipad4 and note10.1 and this thing is not far off is terms of build quality and performance. Also, after 7 days in transit it arrived 100% charged, so the battery is fairly decent too. Screen is the only compromise, but it's quite acceptable from most angles and very receptive. You can get a retina ips screen (2046x1536) with a quad A7 for another $20, or an exynos 5250 (a la nexus 10) with a retina screen for under $250, if your tablet buying budget stretches to that.

Obviously, I ordering direct from China, so if it goes wrong it's a serious pain/risk to return. Anyhow the point I'm trying to make is that the true cost of tablet manufacture is less than you may think and North America and Europe is only 10% of the world's population....and market, although a more significant chunk of the market profit. I also noticed that some 32Gb tablets are only $10-15 more than the 16Gb versions, not the extra $100 that Apple (and perhaps others) hopes the affluent ignorant will pay for $10 worth of extra onboard NAND.

I've also just built a mini budget PC (custom build in a 6x8x10 wooden box) and that cost around £230 (plus screen). So if you don't want to play Crysis and you don't demand a large screen, a quite decent tablet is half the price and a lot more convenient for most of the world's population.

It's more to do with economics and requirements than physics.

RE: Docks docks docks
By karimtemple on 7/11/2013 3:27:36 PM , Rating: 2
I've been looking at these Chinese devices lately. I very worried about support so my hand has been stayed, but not lightly, as a 1080p phone with Snapdragon 600 for $250 is obscenely tempting. I really wish Google would hurry the hell up and make a Nexus 5 so I don't make any rash decisions.

RE: Docks docks docks
By freedom4556 on 7/11/2013 6:31:01 PM , Rating: 2
... and North America and Europe is only 10% of the world's population....and market ...
That's not true because they aren't the same thing. I'm sure they are selling lots of tablets in Namibia. Especially with technology like tablets, the market is where the money is.

RE: Docks docks docks
By mjv.theory on 7/11/2013 7:30:20 PM , Rating: 2
the is where the money is

Perhaps so, and I attempted to allude to this by mentioning the "market for profits". However, recent news articles have highlighted the growth of "no-name" Chinese brands that point to gaining at least 40% of the world market, by volume or turnover?, I don't know. Regardless, as with PCs, the "brand" name becomes less important as the technology becomes ubiquitous, and subsequently, the capabilities and price move toward the volume market.

Apple's, and Intel's, success with profit margins, are disproportionate to the level of "innovation". Apple in particular have succeeded by a combination of supply chain "management" and marketing. Their strengths have been around integration and optimisation and early to market, rather than any real technological innovation as such. Intel's success too is grounded on marketing and market management (i.e. use your position to control competition).

The huge growth of mobile devices based on similar tech and straightforward integration of components, renders the computing market, at best uncertain, and more importantly, on a continuing trend toward the cheapest "good enough" computing solution. Such an outcome may not sit well readers of this site/forums, but is nevertheless inevitable.

RE: Docks docks docks
By nafhan on 7/11/2013 4:34:58 PM , Rating: 2
There will never be a day when it's cheaper or easier to make something half as big as something else. Physics.
I've got two rebuttals to this:
Rebuttal 1: integrated circuits are orders of magnitude cheaper and more powerful than something larger could be. New manufacturing methods and new developments in physics often do mean that smaller is cheaper and easier to make.

Rebuttal 2: If you accept that current assembly methods will always be used, the number of consumers whose needs cannot be met with devices that take up much less than half the space of a PC will continue to shrink over time. We're very quickly approaching the point where if pocket-able devices can't do what you need, you're probably doing something that would put you outside of a role that could be considered "consumer".

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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