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IDC: PC Shipments Decline Worse Than Forecasted, No Recovery Expected 393

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the youtube-monkeys-don't-need-keyboards dept.
symbolset writes "Zach Whittaker over at ZDNet covers an IDC report. In it the 2013 9.7% forecast decline in PC shipments is advanced to 10.1%. Further, IDC's longer-term forecast turns quite grim: contracting 23% from 2012 levels by 2017. There is also a projection of future Windows tablet sales, and a statement that total Windows tablet sales for 2013 are expected to be 'less than 7.5 million units.'"
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IDC: PC Shipments Decline Worse Than Forecasted, No Recovery Expected

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  • Expected (Score:5, Insightful)

    by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:14AM (#45582609)
    That's what you get when you plan for planned obsolescence and then can't actually make the machines obsolete. What's "grim" about it?
  • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by realityimpaired (1668397) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:16AM (#45582627)

    They didn't say that there's a drop in overall computing devices sales, only in PC sales. They actually say that tablet sales are up... If anything, this suggests *more* in landfills, because a number of PC's that would otherwise be donated to a charity like Computers for Schools are no longer happening, meanwhile tablets that can't be upgraded/repurposed are being tossed.

    Case in point, I've owned two tablets in the last 18 months. The first one turned out to be a piece of junk, and I gave it to a friend who was looking for something for the kids. There are people who would, in the same situation, simply toss it.

  • by Tridus (79566) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:17AM (#45582635) Homepage

    It used to be that a house with multiple PCs wasn't that uncommon. With phones & tablets there are now many households that can get by with zero PCs, and many more that can do everything they need with just one.

    Real world user performance has stagnated, with hardware gains not translating into doing a given task faster anymore. A PC from three years ago isn't that much slower at what most users are doing than a brand new one, so there's no particular need to upgrade.

    This is what a mature market looks like. The product is going to continue to sell for a long time, but it's not the hot item it used to be.

  • by gfxguy (98788) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:19AM (#45582643)

    We're past the time when computers are already obsolete by the time you're walking out of the store with them. I don't have a problem with that.

    Not being a heavy gamer, I've had the same core PC (updated disk and graphics is all) for now 10 years. I have bought newer ones for the family, but even the worst new computer is better than the one I still use, and that one is still quite good.

    Unless you're a hard-core gamer, computers should last LONG time for your average user.

  • by Jody Bruchon (3404363) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:19AM (#45582645)
    PC horsepower exceeded the needs of the average non-professional user a long time ago. I'm sitting in front of a $400 laptop from a couple of years ago that I can use for Adobe Premiere workflow! The market is flooded with computers that do everything a person needs, so why would you expect sales to continue increasing? People who barely use computers are moving to tablets, but tablets aren't what is trashing PC sales. People just don't need new ones, and good for them for milking that hardware until it blows up.
  • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WebmasterNeal (1163683) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:29AM (#45582701) Homepage
    Every friend I know who games has built their own computer in the last couple years. If anything I've seen this trend increase rather than decrease. As a whole, less people are buying desktops but gamers are sticking with it.
  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:31AM (#45582715)

    Microsoft helped the NSA bypass their crypto. They were the first to join PRISM.

    Do you actually have any evidence for this? Seriously, there are huge amounts of accusations flying around, but no real evidence. And what are the alternatives? Walled garden, becoming property of the advertisers, or a UI that only Stallman could love.

  • Re:Expected (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EzInKy (115248) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:36AM (#45582761)

    Yeah, it really sucks but that is not solely the cause. It's the lockdown that is the cause of the eminent death of the PC industry. Why buy a general computing device that doesn't let you do general computing? Can't believe Microsoft sold the hardware manufacturers on this shit.

  • Endorse MS Much? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Thruen (753567) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:38AM (#45582773)
    I believe that PC sales have been declining and will decline and stagnate, that sounds legitimate, but this...

    "Even so, these Windows devices are projected to account for 10% of a combined PC & Windows Tablet market by 2016 – making them an important growth segment for the PC ecosystem."

    Really makes Mr. Loverde sound like he's being paid to say good things about Windows. Who in their right mind could possibly believe that Microsoft's failure of a project is going to end up accounting for 10% of the market? It's a failure amongst tablets alone. I don't even know if there would be any benefit from him saying this, it just sounds crazy.

    On a related note, I currently play Battlefield 4 on a computer I put together for around $400 a year ago, so I can definitely see why the PC market is struggling. But it will never disappear, which is enough for me.

  • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SJHillman (1966756) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:38AM (#45582777)

    In my experience, the larger something is the more value people associate with it. I've known dozens of people who buy $20 dust covers to protect their $5 desktop keyboard, but have lost (usually multiple) $300+ phones due to stupidity... err.. negligence (washing machines, sitting on them, etc). They'll also spend hours trying to clean out a keyboard they spilled beer on, but half the time won't even try waiting for their phone to dry out before getting a replacement.

  • by Jody Bruchon (3404363) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:39AM (#45582783)
    The exception would be people who bought el cheapo laptops. For the past few years, $280 would get you a full-size laptop with Windows 7 and at least 2GB of RAM, but they've all saved the money by using the worst processors possible. The Celeron 900 isn't exactly fast, nor the AMD V140. I have drastically improved the performance of a V140 laptop for someone recently by installing Debian with XFCE, but I also know that that's not an option for many people. The bottom-of-the-line CPUs going into many under-$400 laptops are garbage on performance, and owners of those machines would greatly benefit from buying something a little better. The difference between $300 and $400 laptops is insane, and people who cheap out (usually because they honestly don't know any better) get a much worse machine than they might have expected. The only mitigating factor is that if they buy a $280 laptop, they probably don't know it's slow anyway. That or they are broke and need it to job hunt, and I couldn't blame someone in that position for taking the crummy deal if their livelihood depends on it.
  • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sockatume (732728) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:45AM (#45582835)

    Don't take this the wrong way but I suspect it might be the people you know, and not a general trend. I see - and know - plenty of people using phones with completely shattered screens covered up with a cheap screen protector because they don't want to buy a new one.

  • Re:Good (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:03AM (#45583005)

    For a phone that represents 50% market share iPhone users seem to have broken screens far more commonly than the users of any other phone manufacturer.

  • Re:Expected (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dugancent (2616577) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:09AM (#45583061)

    Naa. Computers are an appliance for most people. I don't buy a new blender because mine is old. It's the same with computers.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:11AM (#45583081) Journal
    Content creators, be it website designers, or code warriors or video editors, book typesetters, desktop publishers, they all had a good run for about 2 decades now. They needed a machine with fast chips, oodles of memory and powerful graphics. Their machines were subsidized by the content consumers who did nothing more than surf the web, send emails, store/view photos and videos and wrote an occasional letter. The content consumers who out numbered content creators 10 to 1 or more were the reason why extremely powerful computers are dirt cheap.

    Then the split happened. Finally people realized, the market demanded and the free market delivered a computer purely optimized for content consumers. They have deserted and are deserting the all purpose computer in droves. At the end of the day, we code warriors would be forced to pay more for our computers. Still the commodity common components like memory and peripherals would be amortized over a larger set of computer users. The desktop pc might not get to be as expensive is IBM 3090. But the days where you can run Fluent solver to simulate fluid flow on a "home" PC are gone.

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vanderhoth (1582661) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:20AM (#45583209)
    I'd have to argue that PCs last longer. I've never replaced a desktop or laptop more than once every four years. Using my family, which I understand is a very small non-representative sample.

    I've had two laptops in the last 6 years, one is sitting in a closet being used as a media server for my house the other is my primary. I've never owned a tablet, but I'm thinking of getting one. I just don't know if I can justify it for the stuff I want to use it for (games and programming). It might be alright to take to the in-laws to read the morning news or surf the web rather than lugging my laptop back and forth. Or I could give one to my wife, since all she does is surf the web and play facebook games, and save some money on replacing her three year old over powered laptop, which I might turn into a Minecraft server.

    I digress, In the last six years:
    My brother has gone through three tablets and is looking at another one. iPad, playbook, iPad2, now looking at a Transformer. (3 tablets)
    My younger sister took one of his old ones as her first tablet, but has since gone through two more and currently has an iPad2. iPad (hand-me-down lasted 3 months), iPad (dropped in pool), Kindle (not a hand-me-down), iPad2 (3 tablets, I didn't count the first iPad since it was a hand-me-down)
    My Step-mother has had two tablets (one was a Kindle replaced by her kindle fire) (2 tables)
    My mom, who lives in the states, has had more tablets than I care to mention, she comes to visit every year and for the last five years has a different model every time she's here. (5 tablets)
    My Dad did get one, but he's barely touched it in three years. He's an old school developer and prefers something with a keyboard and mouse. iPad (1 tablet)
    My older sister has had an iPad and a Kindle and currently has a surface RT. Her BF gave it to her two weeks ago and she hates it, too slow, too heavy, doesn't run the software she expected it to (because she thought she was getting a surface pro). Supposedly the BF is taking it back this week, but she wants another tablet to replace her original iPad, which runs like crap now. I recommended a Nexus if she didn't want iPad2 or iPad Air. I think she'll probably be going with the iPad Air since carrying weight matters to her as she travels a lot for her job. iPad, Kindle, Surface RT, TBA (3 tablets)
    My Mother in-law is getting her first tablet for Christmas. ASUS Transformer Prime (1 tablet)

    So of the people I know who have/use tablets that's about 2.5 tablets per person over the last six years. Where as between me an my wife three laptops over the last six years and the laptops get repurposed until the literally don't function anymore so they really last me between six to eight years. Tablets get handed down or tossed out because once they're not useful for everyday tasks anymore they sit around collecting dust.

    That's just my take on it though.
  • by tepples (727027) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .selppet.> on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:52AM (#45583593) Homepage Journal

    It's often not a case of "won't buy an new one" but a case of "can't buy a new one".

    Why would someone living on such slim margins buy a smartphone and its expensive data plan in the first place instead of buying a dumbphone? A lot of smartphone customers are paying $80 per month; I pay that much per year for my dumbphone.

  • by Chas (5144) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @11:32AM (#45584081) Homepage Journal

    Why would someone living on such slim margins buy a smartphone and its expensive data plan in the first place instead of buying a dumbphone?

    Why do people ostensibly living below the poverty line without a high school diploma, popping out babies like it's going out of style own multiple cell phones and drive around in an Escalade?

    Because they're stupid. And because our stupid, materialistic culture has convinced them that they HAVE to have it if they want to be considered worth anything.

  • Re:Hemingway Quote (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @02:00PM (#45586027) Homepage

    Don't forget Windows 8. That must have made a lot of people hold on to their old PCs.

  • Re:Hemingway Quote (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Darinbob (1142669) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @06:19PM (#45589417)

    Ipad is occupies a different niche than PCs. PCs do work, iPads are for looking at someone else's work. So the iPad may be great for home use but at the office it flops. So a lot of people buy them but it says nothing about PCs because that's a completely different market. How many of the people you know bought an iPad while simultaneously dumping their PC or Mac, and of those people how many have an office job?

There is hardly a thing in the world that some man can not make a little worse and sell a little cheaper.