Traditional PC shipments continue their steep decline

Subject: General Tech | December 5, 2013 - 01:31 PM |
Tagged: sales, pc sales, market share

The PC market has eroded over the past few years to the point where sales are only slightly above what they were in 2008, roughly 300 million sales.  Even more worrisome for vendors is the predicted 10.1% decline predicted for the overall sales in 2013.  DigiTimes cites a lack of reasons to upgrade being a root cause and to an extent that makes sense, a first generation i5 laptop will still compete with a current generation laptop with an equivalent Haswell model.  Another reason is the changing market, with tablets and phones providing good enough connectivity for many who previously would have had to purchase a 'traditional' computer.  Commercial sales are not declining as quickly yet but that could change with the spread of the BYOD disease.

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"Worldwide PC shipments are expected to fall by 10.1% in 2013, slightly below the previous projection of 9.7%, and by far the most severe yearly contraction on record, according to IDC. Interest in PCs has remained limited, leading to little indication of positive growth beyond replacement of existing systems. Total shipments are expected to decline by an additional 3.8% in 2014 before turning slightly positive in the longer term."

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Source: DigiTimes
December 5, 2013 | 03:04 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Grandma's got her ChromeBook now, beacuse she never needed an x86 based desktop device in the first place, but back then, x86 was the only game in town, and Intel's marketing/backroom antics were pretty good at keeping the wool over the eyes. Now with the rise of an even more virulent (8, 8.1)TIFKAM disease on the desktop, along with the fondleslab/phone/BYOD disease, the desktop market has become even more stressed! The days when a PC ment only a desktop device, are over for good. The desktop user will never go away, as there is still a need for a true desktop performence/productivity, and a true desktop OS, sans the App store tiled Spam interface. The rise of the ARM ecosystem with ChromeBooks and other mobile devices has changed the computing landscape for the better, and expect the rise of the ARM 64 bit based desktop(with GPU/HSA GPGPU acceleration), as the low power using, low cost ARM 64 based server chips are retasked/repurposed as competition against x86 for the desktop/laptop market that remains.

December 5, 2013 | 06:09 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I have been amazed that the decline in desktop and laptop PCs is such a shocking story. It makes sense that smartphones and tablets would shift purchases. Along with the existing PCs lasting longer. At work we no longer replace PCs/laptops every 3 years. Basically we just wait until the old version dies or is too slow.

The decline of PCs is kinda a big duh in my mind. It is not the MS is losing to LINUX. They were just slow in having low cost, easy-to-use products that operating/run on smartphones and tablets. They had the idea they just wanted to protect their cash cows Windows/Server/Office).
While others raced by them. Easier to be Apple or Google in this space without have hardware OEMs that are slow-moving partners.

An alternative to a Windows or MAC laptop is fine. To me a LINUX desktop or laptop or a Chromebook is a PC. The Chromebook is just riding the wave of Android smartphones/tablets. I don't need to 100 percent sucked into the Google empire. Why not an LINUX or Android laptop? Or maybe I will just use a very capable $500 Windows laptop with my iPad/Nexus/Surface tablet and Windows Phone/iPhone/Android phone.

Decline of the PC - big whup. I have a PC in my hands/pocket now.

December 5, 2013 | 07:54 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

For those who do not want to be sucked into the Google/M$/You name it, empires, there will be ARM based MintBooks/UbuntuBooks/ETC, the real news will be what is happening with HSA and GPU acceleration on these low cost ARM 64 bit based devices! Low cost laptops/netbooks that were orginally built around x86 CPUs will now be dominated by ARM 64 bit variants! These new ARM 64 bit variants, will also be HSA aware, and utilize hUMA memory shareing with the divices' GPUs, and beacuse these devices are HSA aware, they also will use their GPUs like an extra CPU core/s, should they be needed for extra general purpose computations, while retaining the GPU's inherent graphics capability for graphics intensive workloads. There will be x86 versions at higher price points, as well as hybrid Tablet/notebook versions, ARM or x86 based, and ARM/x86 mashups! These MintBooks, etc, will come with a basic simplifed Granny Linux/android/other LTS distro, that can be easily maintained by the upstream services of the OEM, or OEM's chosen third party non Google/M$ provider. Also, these services may not be totally free, and some will still use Google chromebooks, and trade metrics for "free"/ease of maintainence/use. Look for hundrends of ARM based SKUs and prices in the $200-$300 range, and some even lower.
The OEMs that traditionally sold x86 based desktops/laptops, will have a very hard time justifying the high prices that the new model, latest CPU, SKUs could command, I get a new laptop every year, but I buy last years model on sale, and with the power that has been available with CPUs from the last 7 years, many businesses are choosing 1 year old technology and the non-bleeding edge savings! That "good enough" goes for windows 7, also, and windows 7 will be dual booted with Linux on many enterprise laptops, until windows 7 goes end of life, and the switch to Linux is complete, and/or the average laptop CPUs become as powerful as server CPUs, and can efficiently run multiple OSs in a VM at the same time.

December 5, 2013 | 10:05 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

its a race to the bottom of the price range... 1st one there WINS... or wait what?.

LOL

December 6, 2013 | 08:06 AM - Posted by Branthog

People are getting more out of their hardware over a longer period of time. There's no longer the push on the software side to run out and upgrade. Hell, even the hardware itself isn't making significant jumps, anymore. You have to wait several generations of GPUs to even get more than a 20-30% combined performance improvement, now.

Add to this the economic situation most people are in, the substitution of mobile computing devices, and the "well, Angry Birds is enough for me" mentality and of course sales are declining.

But let's not act like the bottom is falling out of the market. There was enough of a PC market in the 90s and 00s to make hardware and software for PC users and cater to them from the business, home, and gaming markets. Just because they may be smaller than other markets, now, doesn't mean companies are just going to throw their hands up and say "gosh, there's no money to be made here, anymore - let's all go develop ipads!".

Hell, even if it dropped by 50%, that's still almost 200 million sales a year. That's huge.

December 6, 2013 | 10:40 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

not to mention most mobile devices are subsidized into contracts *aka FREE*

golly gosh, i've got to PAY for a computer..... HOW DARE YOU!

December 15, 2013 | 12:01 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The only people left that still require a full blown desktop are those that are quite capable and more inclined to make their own....so these figures will not show in the pc sales.
Perhaps they should count the number of motherboards sold?? may give more accurate results.....I mean what else is someone going to do with a a motherboard other than build a pc??

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