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PC shipments in 2015 declined by the largest margin in history

By Shawn Knight
Jan 13, 2016
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  1. Windows 10 hasn't proven to be the PC industry's knight in shining armor... at least, not yet. According to a report from research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), computer shipments fell 10.6 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, resulting in the steepest year-over-year decline in history.

    Rival firm Gartner reports slightly better figures with a drop of just 8.3 percent. For the year, IDC estimates shipments declined by 10.4 percent while Gartner reports an eight percent drop. In real-world terms, it means that fewer than 300 million PCs shipped during 2015.

    The PC industry had a number of factors going against it in 2015 including continued competition from tablets and large-screen smartphones, longer upgrade cycles, weak international currencies and surprisingly enough, even the launch of Windows 10 (due to its free upgrade model which encouraged existing PC owners to keep their machines around for longer rather than buy something new).

    Looking ahead, 2016 is expected to be a little better to vendors. Aging PCs will eventually need to be upgraded, as will those PCs that didn't upgrade to Windows 10 yet. Attractive pricing and new products (like the Oculus Rift, which requires a moderately powerful computer to run) will also help drive sales, as will a larger commercial adoption of Windows 10.

    Image courtesy Dylan Tweney, VentureBeat

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. zaku49

    zaku49 TS Rookie Posts: 18   +7

    Truth be told the normal consumer really has no reason to upgrade their PCs, they're already total overkill for what they use them for. The only groups actually pushing PC sales now are gamers and college students, if anything they're only going to get worse...
     
    p51d007 likes this.
  3. EClyde

    EClyde TS Guru Posts: 707   +181

    No one needs a PC to ignore the environment in public and fall on the third rail
     
  4. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 708   +168

    I understand why. A laptop from 2010-2011 still does what most people want them to do.
     
  5. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 858   +339

    No point in engaging I've seen this article on TechSpot like 10 times now and this has been already discussed.
     
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,676   +780

    The business community has by far and wide been the greatest purchaser of PC's, but with the high frequency of upgrades of the OS and other software, many large companies don't upgrade systems on a regular basis like they once did. I hear a lot of IT folks say that the cost of rolling an entire company over to the latest and greatest has gotten so expensive and time consuming that they recommend this on every 3rd major upgrade. Bottom line: The PC industry has cut their own throat by refusing to minimize upgrades and when doing so, making them really meaningful.

    Another contributor are all those code writers that only want to write for the latest and greatest chip set and OS. If they actually held back one or two generations it would give the users access to their products, even with older machines and make those that invested in the newest equipment a lightening fast experience, thus encouraging more jealousy among users and faster upgrades.

    Bottom line is that the entire industry needs to learn to work together to produce a better product rather than just being greedy with each little change. But what do I know; I've only been building, buying, and using them since the original ALTOS back in 1977 when CPM was all the rage. Sometimes it's GOOD to be the dinosaur in the room .... :)
     
  7. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Addict Posts: 231   +75

    That is the problem. We need to do something to trick ordinary people to buy more PCs regardless they need them so that progress keeps steady. Enthusiasts alone are not enough to push companies to innovate fast enough.
     
  8. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,155   +1,431

    When the car industry faced the same problem 20 years ago, they solved it by starting to produce cars that are sure to fall to pieces before they are 10 years old. After all, with cars it is fairly easy.

    With computers things seem to be the other way round, newer computers can provide longer service than the previous generations. This is how the problem gets to build. Once the market has been saturated with reliable and lasting computers, the demand collapses.

    The only way to change this is to start producing computers that are significantly cheaper than what we are paying today. And I don't mean going for cheap components, rather dropping prices on premium ones.

    I believe we are still paying outrageous margins for both Intel CPU-s and for Video cards, while things like premium main boards are simply aligning prices with them.

    By my account, Intel is selling their CPU-s for about 20 times their manufacturing cost. There is no R&D in the world to justify that kind of margin, but Intel is doing it anyway, still feeling like an unshakable monopoly.
     
  9. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Addict Posts: 229   +89

    I totally agree with this, also the price points of some of the hardware is such that even the enthusiast gamer on average only upgrades once every 3-6 years depending on their current build.

    Build it beefy, and run it into the ground!
     
  10. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Addict Posts: 229   +89

    Cheaper hardware. As you mentioned, there is no motivation behind buying a $350 processor every year for mine craft and facebook.
     
  11. zaku49

    zaku49 TS Rookie Posts: 18   +7

    Sure Intel charges double or more than their AMD counter part but their CPUs are faster, cooler, and use less electricity, and most of the time they're MUCH faster for just a $ little more. Also you aren't paying for the manufacturing cost it's the time invested in creating the actual chip's architect.
     
  12. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,155   +1,431

    A) Comparing them to AMD is completely irrelevant here; B) I did say about the R&D expense vs the margin:
    You quote me, and then reply like you didn't read what I said or didn't understand it.
     
  13. amstech

    amstech TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 1,457   +606

    I still run an i7 930 (4.0GHz 24/7, 21X9) with an Evo 250GB SSD, and its still fast as sh!t.
    Point being, while there is no doubt the newer generations are better, its just not enough of an improvement, especially for gamers, which is a huge part of the market.
     
    cliffordcooley and veLa like this.
  14. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,653   +523

    You couldn't be further from the truth, cars last longer now then they ever have, I currently drive a car that's 18 years old and is showing no sign it will "fall to pieces". A lot of cars are still around from the 90s, if anything that was the best generation of cars as far as longevity is concerned. If anything the early 2000s is the problematic era of cars, looking at the Mazda 3's horrific rust issues, this is when they got ultra cheap in the manufacturing decisions using cheaper materials all around, plastic fantastic ect. Don't get me wrong the 90s had their fair share of PoS cars, just don't go around saying that all cars made 20 years ago were designed to fall to pieces.
     
  15. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,155   +1,431

    When I said 20 years ago, I didn't mean it happened overnight. It took about 5 years for major manufacturers to shift their focus from higher quality to cheaper manufacturing. So my statement was accurate enough.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
    ikesmasher likes this.
  16. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 913   +388

    Economy SUCKS, less disposable income, PC's have been fast enough for a few years. I run photoshop A LOT, so I don't need super duper speed, i5-4460, 12gb DDR3, smaller geforce GT720 is fast enough
    for me. So what that it might take 10 seconds longer to render something.
    It's like cell phones. The snapdragon 80x chips are fast enough for 99% of everyday users who do nothing but twitter, FB, text, talk, web, video.
    Maybe with the fall off, true innovation will come around.
    Give me a REASON to upgrade, not just a faster box.
     
  17. Axle Grease

    Axle Grease TS Booster Posts: 69   +20

    The only upgrade Joe Dullard is interested in if he's interested in upgrading at all is Windows 10, because it's free.
     
  18. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Guru Posts: 866   +277

    Yet you still bother to post.... that's engaging my friend...

    Honestly, the SSD is the real reason to upgrade a PC.... once you have one, there's really not much of a need to upgrade unless you're a gamer.
     
  19. genXneg

    genXneg TS Rookie

    So Intel CPU's are double or more or just a $ little more? Which is it in your fanboy opinion? I have a 8370 and it games like a champ and I did not pay double for Intel silicon. Back then the power draw disparity was not so much. I am an admitted AMD fanboy for the simple reason that if it did not exist imagine what you would be paying for that Intel/Nvidia silicon and it probably would be generations back at this point. AMD must not fail.
     
  20. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Guru Posts: 866   +277

    AMD already has failed.... they just don't know it yet... kind of like a chicken running around after it's head has been chopped off. They simply can't compete with Intel. They haven't been able to compete at the high end for years, and now that Intel has started pumping out budget chips, they can't compete at the low end either!

    Unfortunately, it's only a matter of time....
     
  21. risc32

    risc32 TS Booster Posts: 197   +87

    I guess Honda and Toyota are just crazy for building cars that just refuse to die, hence no "need" to update. nothing says "buy me again" more than a crappy product that fails.
    up next foks,
    be sure to get a good undercoat on your cpu, otherwise they'll rust up on ya!
     
  22. romainB

    romainB TS Enthusiast Posts: 33

    Well, with lap tops and tablets it's not really a surprise.
     
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,702   +1,886

    Of course not, that's what an iPhone is for.

    (Sorry I missed that when you first posted it :oops: ).
     

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