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PC shipments grew by double-digits last quarter as tablet sales slide

By Shawn Knight ยท 8 replies
Jan 14, 2015
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  1. The PC industry's downturn appears to have been short-lived, at least according to a pair of market research firms. Fourth quarter shipment data from both Gartner and IDC reveals a healthy market rebound, especially in the US.

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  2. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe Banned Posts: 837   +441

    Is it "whopping" or "lukewarm" ?
  3. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,215   +177

    We're soon approaching the third version of Windows OS with the same requirements as the previous version. (1 Ghz CPU, 1 GB RAM, 16 GB hard drive, and DX9 capable GPU - Shared by Windows 7, Windows 8, and soon Windows 10) There hasn't been strong reason to upgrade when Windows has been running on old hardware with no complaints. After slapping Win 8.1 64-bit on there, my main reason to upgrade the home PC is because my computer is simply old, not that it can't run programs today.
  4. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,152   +1,411

    Objection, your honor! Speculation!

    PCs are not redundant with tablets and smartphones. Win 8 may have slowed down sales some, but so did the complete lack of a need to upgrade. My Win 7 PC Circa 2010 with an AMD 955 in it is still doing everything I need it to quite easily, and I used to upgrade very 2-3 years.

    So why did PC sales go up? I think sales had hit rock bottom and they had to go up. It had to happen sooner or later. It probably has more to do with the economy picking up than anything specific to the computer industry.
    Seraphim401 likes this.
  5. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +3,182

    This report wasn't trying to say that PCs are redundant, it was just noting that as tablet and phone sales increased, PC sales decreased. PC sales declined for a multitude or reasons. Windows 8, low system requirements, and lack of cash (as people were instead spending on tablets/phones).

    We will see a rebound as next-gen video games are releasing for the PC, Windows 10 is coming out, and the tablet market has slowed down.
  6. davisjaron

    davisjaron TS Enthusiast Posts: 83

    Reason? When was the last time something new came out on a tablet? Apps have, to this point, reached their limit... everything possible has been made. Desktops, while also having reached their current capability, are capable of SO much more. Plus most apps have a desktop partner. Such as one personally that I use, google keep. I can make my grocery list on my desktop, or take notes on my desktop, then they show up on my phone.

    On top of that, no signifigant changes have come out. Android 5 came out in November and less than 1% of consumers have it. Even with Android 5, other than a few minor changes, it's pretty much the same thing. No amazing new features.

    Battery life still sucks if you actually want to use your tablet or phone.

    Apple updates everything, so you can have an iPhone 4 and still have the latest iOS, which is great for consumers, but bad for business.

    Repairability is better, and repairing a phone can often be much cheaper than buying a new phone.

    Most people don't want to be locked into a contract so outright buying a phone is the best option, but a new phone still costs $600 that people aren't willing to pay, so usually ebay or craigslist are the next best option and have grown extremely popular...

    what else did I miss?
  7. Windows itself is already quite feature-packed and has no particular reason to increase requirements at this point. And even if they do add more features, it's most likely the only requirement that would go up would be disk space.
    The same can't be said about many third-party software. Firefox and Chrome today are both very different from the lightweight, fast initial versions they had, and old computers won't run today's Flash or HTML5 applications that easily, specially the ones with hardware acceleration. Adobe Reader has become hilariously bigger. Also, many programs now come with loaders and/or updaters that run at startup, and most users simply don't disable them. And most importantly, people who need serious work software, like the Adobe graphics suite, sound/video editors, file converters, CAD, 3D modelling and rendering and so on, always need more performance. Same for anyone who plays games.
    On top of that still, there's been plenty of hardware advancements that make new PCs worth buying. It's just that they aren't the typical "better CPU, more RAM" thing techies are used to thinking about. SSDs, UEFI, IPS screens, higher resolutions, better trackpads, ac and/or dual-band Wi-Fi, lighter and slimmer form factors, among others, all contribute to making new PCs attractive to old customers.
  8. ddg4005

    ddg4005 TS Guru Posts: 392   +58

    I suspect tablet sales will continue to slide since they are, essentially, throw away purchases. PC can be upgraded to run the latest software that requires more robust hardware. Add to that the recent announcement of the requirements for upcoming games (like the Witcher 3) on the PC and you've got a revived PC market.
  9. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,912   +697

    The Tablet fad has come and gone, everyone who wanted one has purchased one, those who like them are repeat buyers, most users however are not repeat buyers, at least from my experience. I can only speculate it being due to the closed ecosystems implemented on these devices as well as the diminishing "wow" factor, it was cool to have a tablet when no one else did, now that every soccer mom has one, and likely their kids as well, it's no longer a hot commodity. Don't forget the misconception of windows 8 reducing PC sales because people were afraid of change, 8.1 has more or less fix that. I remember people asking for windows 7 instead of 8 for the first couple months while I was working at a local PC store, customers where also more likely to consider tablets. As previously stated, hardware requirements have remained relatively untouched for several years now, discouraging the need to upgrade to newer hardware, which is only marginally faster for the average user. Hard drive space requirements is no longer 16GB mind you, fully updated its getting closer to 30GB, but hard drive space is not exactly a factor to worry about for most. Perhaps game developers can take note and stop ignoring game development on the single largest platform available to them, but this is unlikely due to the whole "piracy" bandwagon and everyone wants to get aboard.

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