What Does Q1 Sales Drop Mean for PCs?
Personal computer sales are headed in the wrong direction. According to International Data Corp. (IDC), U.S. sales of PCs fell 12.7 percent during the first quarter of 2013, the worst quarterly performance in nearly two decades. What’s behind the plummeting PC numbers? IDC put the cause on tablets (no surprise) and consumer unhappiness with Microsoft’s Windows 8.
"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," said Bob O’Donnell, IDC program vice president, clients and displays, in a statement. "Microsoft will have to make some very tough decisions moving forward if it wants to help reinvigorate the PC market."
HP, which saw PC sales in the U.S. drop nearly 23 percent during the period, remains the market leader, according to IDC. Dell (-14.4 percent), Apple (-7.5 percent) and Toshiba (-5.2 percent) all experienced declines. Lenovo with sales up 13 percent was the only major manufacturer not in negative territory.
Gartner, which publishes its own report, reported total PC vendor shipments in the U.S. were down 9.6 percent during the first quarter. It had HP (-23.3 percent), Dell (-14.5 percent) and Toshiba (-5.3 percent) all down during the first quarter. Lenovo (+13.8 percent) and Apple (+7.4 percent) were said to be gaining.
Gartner said the drag on PC sales was in the consumer, not the professional market.
"Consumers are migrating content consumption from PCs to other connected devices, such as tablets and smartphones," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, in a statement. "Unlike the consumer PC segment, the professional PC market, which accounts for about half of overall PC shipments, has seen growth, driven by continuing PC refreshes."
- PC Shipments Post the Steepest Decline Ever in a Single Quarter, According to IDC – International Data Corp.
- Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments in the First Quarter of 2013 Drop to Lowest Levels Since Second Quarter of 2009 – Gartner
- Apple’s Mac U.S. sales grew 7.4% (Gartner) or fell 7.5% (IDC) – Fortune
- PC industry sees worst sales quarter in nearly 20 years – San Jose Mercury News
What is your prognosis for the future of PCs in both the consumer and professional markets? Is the migration from PC usage to mobile devices a good or bad thing for the overall consumer electronics market?