PC sales expected to decline
It would be their first drop in more than a decade.
After 11 years of growth, sales of PCs -- including notebooks, netbooks and desktops -- are expected to decline.
This revelation comes from three different researchers. In a report by IHS iSuppli (IHS), the researcher showed that worldwide PC shipments will contract this year by 1.2% to 348.7 million units. In 2011, 352.8 million units were shipped.
"There was great hope through the first half that 2012 would prove to be a rebound year for the PC market," Craig Stice, a senior principal analyst for computer systems at IHS, said in a company release. "Now three quarters through the year, the usual boost from the back-to-school season appears to be a bust, and both AMD and Intel's third-quarter outlooks appear to be flat to down. Optimism has vanished and turned to doubt, and the industry is now training its sights on 2013 to deliver the hoped-for rebound. All this is setting the PC market up for its first annual decline since the dot-com bust year of 2001."
Gartner concurred with that assessment.
"Retailers were conservative in placing orders as they responded to weak back-to-school sales," said Mikako Kitagawa, a principal analyst at Gartner. "By the end of September, retailers were focused on clearing out inventory in advance of the Windows 8 launch later this month. On the professional side, there was minimum impact from Windows 8 in the quarter because the professional market will not adopt Windows 8 PCs immediately after the release."
"PCs are going through a severe slump," added Jay Chou, a senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide PC Tracker. "The industry had already weathered a rough second quarter, and now the third quarter was even worse. A weak global economy as well as questions about PC market saturation and delayed replacement cycles are certainly a factor, but the hard question of what is the 'it' product for PCs remains unanswered. While Ultrabook prices have come down a little, there are still some significant challenges that will greet Windows 8 in the coming quarter."
Dell (DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) are among the biggest companies enduring declines. In the third quarter, Gartner said, HP declined by 16.4% worldwide, while Dell dropped 13.7%. In the United States, the declines were even greater.
IDC's numbers are nearly on par with Gartner's, but there is one exception: IDC's research shows that Apple declined by 7%.
IHS did not provide any details regarding how individual corporations are performing.
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I'm sure there are a host of reasons for the soft sales numbers besides waning interest in the traditional desktop. The pads are big on cool and low on useful. Have you ever tried to write or edit a serious document on one? Ever try some serious photo editing on one? Ever try to repair or upgrade one? I think I'll keep my easily repaired and upgraded desktop, printer and 24" screen thank you very much!
I've been gaming on the PC for over 10 years, there is just no reason to use anything else because nothing else is more powerful. I've had two gaming laptops in the past, they worked well at the time because I was always on the move and had limited space. These days I'm no longer on the move and I have plenty of space. I run a powerful PC that plays the latest games on high settings and have dual monitors.
None of this is possible on a laptop, ipad or smart phone. I can understant why people would think the PC is dying but for someone like me who doesn't have any use for an ipad or a smart phone, the PC is the only choice.
PC's will be around for some time yet. If you need to do serious keyboard work, a pc or laptop is the way to go. I wouldn't try to write a large document or spreadsheet on a smartphone. You can watch Star Trek or play a video game on a smart phone or tablet, which is ok for young guys with eagle eyes. Us older guys need a lot larger screen.
It depends on what your primary use of the electronics is. PC's will probably lose market share in the long run but it is far to early to pronounce their imminent death. Also like anything else the market is subject to fluctuations. Is anyone going to pronounce the smartphone dead if sales drop off?
This is about a technology slump, nothing more, nothing less.
People upgrade thier old PCs because of newer and/or better technology. We havent seen anything really new since the 64 bit OS, which allowed us to run more RAM then before. Micro-chip technology is still moving foward, but most lay people dont understand it.
Also, people are starting to realize that if you take care of your PC, and upgrade the software, drivers, etc, you dont need to buy a new PC every 2 years.
And businesses, the real "consumer" in the PC market, are cutting costs and laying people off.
For the basic user computers might be gradually replaced by tablets but not in the gaming market or other areas such as CAD or audio or video editing in the immediate future.
Schools are supplying kids with iPads, even the teachers are using them, good for Apple, bad for Microsoft. I think that once this trend (schools with iPads) level off, then we'll see a stabilization of the PC market. I don't think the PC market will ever truly die. There isn't a laptop on the market that can compete with the raw power of a tower machine for heavy graphics and CPU loads.
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The solid report comes a month after the retailer closed all of its Canadian operations.
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