PC industry posts steepest quarterly sales decline in history

By on April 10, 2013, 11:30 PM

Sales of personal computers plummeted 14 percent in the first quarter of 2013 – the worst drop in nearly 20 years according to a new report from International Data Corp. The findings are a bit breathtaking as even the firm that produced the data forecasted a drop of just 7.7 percent.

The industry as a whole sold just 76.3 million PCs during the first three months of this year. For comparison, nearly 353 million PCs were sold in 2011 – a figure that we won’t even get close to this year.

The PC industry has been suffering for quite some time thanks to the rising popularity of tablets and smartphones. No company – large or small – is impervious to the effects as even big time players like HP have been struggling to restructure their business accordingly.

Roger L. Kay, founder and president of Endpoint Technologies Associates, said the one message here is to go faster – referring to companies that are trying to transition to tablets and smartphones. He noted that some companies will only get half way through the transition process and that some will ultimately go bankrupt.

It all started around 2011 when the industry grew just two percent that year. Many hoped Windows 8 would help the slumping sales but that never happened. It’s been downhill ever since.

If there’s a shining light in it all, it’s for the consumer. Pricing is expected to drop as much as 30 percent over the next few months as manufacturers want to unload inventory before pushing new products starting in June.




User Comments: 26

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1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I hope I'm not the only one that is not surprised by this decline.

1 person liked this | Littleczr Littleczr said:

I could have told Microsoft that Windows 8 would not boost sales and im just a security guard.

The other problme is that new software is not really taking advantage of new hardware. Its rare to see a sofwtare take advante of 64 bit or multi threads.

kebab2000 kebab2000 said:

Some people barely have money for food. The last thing on their minds will be the purchase of a computing device. Major corporations might want to wake up to the fact that buying power is greatly diminished and the era of habitual price gouging is gone forever.

Mbloof said:

This has been years in the making. There comes a time when everyone that wants a PC has one and the industry shifts to selling replacements.

Cars, TV's and countless other items and industries have reached the same point.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Windows 8 gives nothing significant to users who are not 100% in the Microsoft fold, and as most units available do not have touch the insistence of making it touch centric, rather than having a two fold measure, will hasten the demise of Microsoft. No wonder that Microsoft is complaining to the EU about Android.

tato keren tato keren said:

Scaryyy

the fact is I dont buy another PC, my last one is at 2010

Guest said:

How can anyone be surprised by the decline in pc sales, with today's tablets, smart phones and smart tv's the need for the home pc will keep dropping and dropping and as tablets keep getting more and more powerful the mid to low end gamers will no longer need a computer either. Leaving only the hard core gamers and business needing them. My partner use to do all of her photography work on a computer but now finds herself using her ipad more and more, the apps are cheap and the results are amazing. She has limited need for expensive software like Photoshop or the likes most of the time now.

treetops treetops said:

Aye aye mateys, it be pirating that keeps pcs in the home afloat.

1 person liked this | VitalyT VitalyT said:

It is a bit of technology saturation we are seeing.

For myself this is the first time ever that even though I'm a software developer, with high demand for performance, and I wouldn't update my 2010 PC for a new one, despite having enough money for that. I just don't see the point.

I'm still rocking my 2010 desktop: i7-860, 8GB of RAM, Intel X25 SSD-s, Radeon 580 (I'm not a gamer). Why bother updating, wasting money, if VS2012, for example, is flying perfectly on it, even along with VMW.

Guest said:

I don't think this has anything to do "with the rise of tablets". It is mainly that the PC market has reached saturation. Another factor is the economy. Tablets and other mobile devices are climbing because that market is still open, give it a few years and it will reach saturation.

Guest said:

kebab2000 said:

Some people barely have money for food. The last thing on their minds will be the purchase of a computing device. Major corporations might want to wake up to the fact that buying power is greatly diminished and the era of habitual price gouging is gone forever.

Oh? Is that why I see so many people on SNAP (food stamps) who have an iPhone 4 or better?

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

Acer down 30%. I'd like to think that's because of they're crappy lineups.

2 people like this | Guest said:

I think it's because of majority people are using computer for just simpile like email, facebook, Internet and photos. The smartphone and tablet are perfect for that. As same as goes for old computer that still can handle that. The computer will becoming minority for people like us that need more than just simpile email, facebook or others.

Raoul Duke Raoul Duke said:

I think it is because computers have reached such a level of power now, that there is little incentive to upgrade. For example my two year old system of socket 1155, i72600K, Z68 chipset, 16 GB DDR3 and an AMD HD6950 with a SSD boot drive simply does not need upgrading the way computers used to years ago. Even though I used to upgrade frequently, with this system I find I simply have no need to, nor do I see one anytime soon.

I do not own a cell phone or a tablet and although I have a older laptop I find I just do not use it. The 'desktop computer' handles it all, streaming HD video, Blu-ray, .wav music output to my stereo system. No need for more. Just the new monitors are exciting now, starting not to even follow computer hardware much anymore.

Mbloof said:

I think it's because of majority people are using computer for just simpile like email, facebook, Internet and photos. The smartphone and tablet are perfect for that. As same as goes for old computer that still can handle that. The computer will becoming minority for people like us that need more than just simpile email, facebook or others.

My old 2001 XP box is still functional outside of not being able to play modern games. While I'll always have some sort of computing device with a real keyboard attached most people can get their internet/information fix with their smart phone or tablet.

In the 1980's the only people that had computers were people that needed/required them for their job or were gamers/geeks/nerds or otherwise had a hobby centered around them. I think we've come full circle.

Roddy_K Roddy_K said:

Why would I upgrade to such a bad operating system as Windows 8? System builders lost out on that one. I will use Windows 7 for a long time. Windows 8 = P.O.S.

Ravik Ravik said:

Keep in mind that the chart represents pre-built computers sold to consumers. Most of the PC owners on this site probably built their own...and that's not reflected in this chart.

Guest said:

This comes as a surprise to no one. Consumers are tending to hold onto their devices longer...and with the advent of tablets and smartphones upgrading your PC is not required as often in the past.

Also....new computer programs are not stressing older hardware. I have many people who are running on older hardware for their home desktop/laptop needs. You just don't need 8 cores or the newest hardware to print, use OFFICE, and surf the web at home.

Only gamers or graphics professionals are the ones who require cutting edge hardware.

I think the 2nd wave of Windows 8/ Windows Blue machines will sell better this year now that more and more people have come to terms with the changes in the OS and have actually gotten a hands on with the variety of models out there which are pretty impressive.

JC713 JC713 said:

I will never use a iPad or tablet to replace the desktop. It is just too unporductive. You are tempted by all those apps and such. Not just that, but MS word is great on the desktop. Why change now. Even if MS releases Office for iOS and Android, it just wont be viable from a productivity stand point. I prefer a classic keyboard and screen with MS word.

pollyhey said:

Well for one, I think MS is surely some of the reason for this demise of the PC. As one of the many that select to update their own rigs only to find that you are stung by MS entrapment to ensure you re-register

the O/S or they nullify it. Basically they do not want you to upgrade at all full stop!

MrAnderson said:

The market has matured... No new mainstream software has come out to require more power. Tablets have come a long to take on many of our mainstream computing tasks... communication via email, Internet browsing, and personal schedule...

I imagine things will level off and there will be more consolidation for standard devices.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Not surprising, gone are the days that we needed to buy a new computer every 1 or 2 years, hardware has caught up with software and secondly, the majority have been nothing but people using mostly Email, playing video/sound and browsing the internet. Also consoles took a piece of the pie. This decline will eventually stop and only the real users, the ones using professional software and actually producing "output" will remain.

Bui Khac Tu Bui Khac Tu said:

I think lenova is wrong name it's lenovo

Guest said:

The era of price gouging has been suspended, and will be moved to different products.

1 person liked this | hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

This was expected. Nothing exciting is happening on the desktop, while mobile devices are in the news almost daily with new features, screen size/quality and form factors. You got the likes of Microsoft, Apple, Google, Ubuntu, Mozilla, nVIDIA, Intel, all wanting a piece of the ARM pie, and on the desktop, you got Windows 8 and Mac OSX.

The decline also proves most people can do their computing on a mobile device that is always on, versus a computer that is only available at home, or a laptop with poor battery life. I see mobile devices everywhere and the only place I see laptops are in coffee shops.

Microsoft has to keep busy and following Apple's suit with .1 updates to their OS could very well help. Waiting for the next Windows and Office is few and far between compared to mobile devices releases.

Battery life in general needs to greatly improve also. Who wants to lug around a laptop with 3 hour battery life when you could do the same work on a device you carry with you anyway that has 4x the battery life?

Not me. Nuh uh.

Guest said:

The Good Enough era.

  • All applications are moving to the web (including office).
  • All current and past hardware has now moved to the "good enough" category and do NOT need to be replaced with something faster.
  • The hardware replacement desire is now for "portable" instead of "faster".
  • Basically, if it can run a browser, it's "good enough".
  • Desktop boxes will go the way of the Dodo.

any questions?

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