Earlier today we posted a report by analyst firm IDC stating that PC sales experienced the steepest declines in the last quarter. IDC stated that shipments fell 14 percent—the sharpest drop since they began tracking this data almost 20 years ago; even more, the analyst firm added that this is the fourth straight quarter of decline.
In addition, Gartner says global shipments have falled 11.2 percent and called this the worst drop since the first quarter of 2001. They say the rise of tablets and smartphones are sapping demand for personal computers.
It’s no secret that the PC business has been shrinking in recent years as tablet computers like the iPad and Kindle Fire have been growing. It was thought that if Microsoft was successful with their Windows 8, they could slow the decline. However, according to tech analyst Jeff Kagan, even Microsoft with its Windows 8 operating system can’t seem to save the PC business.
The new Microsoft Windows 8 was hoped to slow that decline. It was designed to make computers act more like tablets. However it is not doing so,” Kagan says. “Customers want both tablets and computers for different things. Think of this marketplace like a pie with slices. Some slices may move to tablets and never go back to laptops or desktops. However other slices can use both, and still other slices need regular laptops and desktops.”
Kagan adds that we are in a current state of “resizing” as it relates to the computer industry as one that’s being divided by a variety of slices. “Yesterday it was just one big pie with two slices, desktops and notebooks. Over the last several years we have watched the desktop shrink as the notebook grew. We never said the computer industry was dying, just changing. Today it is a pie with lots of slices and every customer doesn’t need every slice,” he says. “This resizing should last for several years. So the computer industry is not going away. It’s just changing, resizing. And as technology continues to grow and change, so will the market segments.”
Kagan surmises that the decline is not about how we are using PCs, but more how we are consuming and creating data. “We aren’t using fewer computers. Rather we are using computers differently,” he says. “Some companies will transition well and others will not. This is the same as it has always been--an industry full of opportunities and challenges.”