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PC Shipments In 2013 See the Worst Yearly Decline In History 564

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-will-it-stabilize-at? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The PC market continues to be in free fall, having now seen its seventh consecutive quarter of declining worldwide shipments. Worldwide PC shipments dropped to 82.6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to Gartner, a 6.9 percent decrease from the same period last year. It's worth emphasizing that this past quarter resulted in a total of 315.9 million units shipped in 2013, a 10 percent decline from 2012, and the worst decline in PC market history. The overall shipment level was equal to the one in 2009."
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PC Shipments In 2013 See the Worst Yearly Decline In History

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  • by 0123456 (636235) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:13PM (#45920931)

    And then some people just don't like Win 8.

    You've actually met someone who does like Window 8?

    Everyone I know who's seen it takes one look, goes 'WTF?' and decides not to buy a new PC after all.

  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:15PM (#45920963)

    what does the worst in history mean?

    It means the worst in either absolute or percentage terms. It is far worse than 1975, since PC sales did not decline at all that year. The Altair 8800 [wikipedia.org] was introduced in 1975, and it was a big hit. Sales were in the hundreds.

  • Build your own (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sandman1971 (516283) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:20PM (#45921021) Homepage Journal

    Now I'm only going by my circle of friends, family and acquaintances so this might be a small anomaly but...

    It appears that not only is tablet use displacing having a 2nd or 3rd PC, it is more importantly replacing the laptop (name brand). When buying a desktop, the people in my circle have been moving away from buying the Dells and Compaqs and other name brands and have either been building their owns or buying the local PC shop pre-mades, Numbers that wouldn't show up in these reports.

      As others have mentioned, today's desktop PCs also tend to last longer as they are still very powerful 3-4 years later.

    Mix all of these together and it's no surprise

  • Re:Tablet computing (Score:2, Informative)

    by m00sh (2538182) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:26PM (#45921083)

    Because the tablet is slow and clunky and Google (and possibly Apple) are tracking your every move? I left my laptop at home last time I traveled and took the tablet instead, but I went back to the laptop (and the desktop for anything CPU or graphics intensive) as soon as I returned home.

    Most PCs come with spyware installed.

    You can do word processing on a tablet, but it's god-awfully painful compared to a desktop or laptop. Even emails are clunky if you're sending more than two lines.

    It is difficult to use a PC/laptop on anything other than a desk and chair.

  • Re:Theories? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jody Bruchon (3404363) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:38PM (#45921231)
    I got it. I used it for a few months because I support "normal people" and had to learn it. I moved to Windows 7 and never put that scourge back on the laptop ever again. Windows 8 definitely contributed to driving down PC hardware sales.
  • by Peristaltic (650487) * on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:44PM (#45921295)

    It's Microsoft's fault. They won't allow the makers to sell you a PC without a tablet OS.

    I'm sure that's a significant factor. I wonder how the makers feel about that.

    Look no further [neowin.net] "Samsung is blaming Windows 8 for its poor performance in the PC market and the overall decline of the industry as a whole."

  • Re:Custom Builds (Score:5, Informative)

    by Billly Gates (198444) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:46PM (#45921319) Journal

    Custom built PCs are a niche market. I highly doubt they would have anything near a 10% impact on the entire PC market.

    Not anymore. Asus mentioned they have sold millions of high end/gaming motherboards as gamers no longer buy Dells and replace the GPU like they did in the old days.

    You can thank crappy PSU's and proprietary tiny cases for this decline as gamers are the only ones who upgrade besides corporations and they only do so every 10 years now when MS decides it needs more money for another OS upgrade.

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:48PM (#45921363)

    I realize that you have not met me but I use Win 8.1 everyday at work and love it (took a while to get used too bout the same as Win7 did from XP)

    Oh please. Win7 was not different at all from WinXP; to the casual user, Win7 just looks like a re-skin of XP, except now the task bar shows tasks differently (using big icons instead of small icons with text), and there's a little area on the right with indicators/controls for things like WiFi, battery, etc. Overall, the usage is almost the same.

    Win8 is a complete sea-change from Win7/XP, at least until you can find the desktop, and even then you're still going right back to Metro any time you bring up the "start" menu.

  • by X0563511 (793323) on Friday January 10, 2014 @06:07PM (#45921533) Homepage Journal

    Don't. [stardock.com]

    It's a computer - a tool. Bend it to your will, don't bend to it.

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Friday January 10, 2014 @06:11PM (#45921595) Journal

    Macs were the anomaly in all this - their "PC" sales went up 26% over the same time period.

    Ultimate source is Gartner, but found the info here: linky [appleinsider.com]

    Also, if kept reasonably clean, a Mac will last way longer than the typical OEM box/laptop.

    Otherwise, in the PC realm? Yeah... over the past few years, I've just bought laptops as needed, and aside from my last purchase (because the old laptop was failing), that's been farther and fewer between.

    In other news, there is also the Tablet Effect; my wife went from a laptop to an iPad 4 last year, and it seems to suit her perfectly.

  • by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Friday January 10, 2014 @06:15PM (#45921625)

    Win8 + ClassicShell is fine. No drawbacks versus Windows 7 that I've run across. I've never seen Metro since the initial installation, it just isn't there.

  • by 0123456 (636235) on Friday January 10, 2014 @06:19PM (#45921667)

    So, with console getting a major upgrade recently, do you expect to see a huge "move" in games in about 2 years?

    That 'major upgrade' makes the console about as fast as a low to mid-range gaming PC today.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Friday January 10, 2014 @06:37PM (#45921879) Homepage

    > Also, if kept reasonably clean, a Mac will last way longer than the typical OEM box/laptop.

    No it won't. It will become obsolete faster as it's completely unmaintainable. Anything that breaks will be harder to deal with. Obsolete components can't be swapped out.

    With a PC, I can do this myself or pay someone else. This isn't an option with a Mac.

    My old Mac is a doorstop. Can't even get OS updates for it. Similarly old PCs are fine, especially with an upgraded video card.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Friday January 10, 2014 @06:39PM (#45921905) Homepage

    > But for $500, I want to be able to type up a document in a pinch. Plug in my USB devices. Connect to HMDI TV, plug in an SD Card, open a command prompt,

    I can do all of that with my phone. I can certainly do that with an Android tablet without spending $500 on it.

  • Re:Custom Builds (Score:4, Informative)

    by neuro88 (674248) on Friday January 10, 2014 @06:40PM (#45921917)

    Not anymore. Asus mentioned they have sold millions of high end/gaming motherboards as gamers no longer buy Dells and replace the GPU like they did in the old days.

    You can thank crappy PSU's and proprietary tiny cases for this decline as gamers are the only ones who upgrade besides corporations and they only do so every 10 years now when MS decides it needs more money for another OS upgrade.

    I was about to ask you to back up that claim, but a quick google shows what you're saying as true: http://www.maximumpc.com/gigabyte_asus_wrestle_motherboard_shipment_crown2013 [maximumpc.com]

    The article is a bit dated, but apparently Asus was expecting to ship 22.2 million mid to high end boards in 2013. It's starting to seem custom rigs (particularly for gaming) is hardly a niche. Maybe the market's somewhat smaller than desktop machines, but it's certainly large enough to be considered healthy and is still growing.

  • by technomom (444378) on Friday January 10, 2014 @07:15PM (#45922233)

    We have a couple of aging Windows laptops in our house but they are slowly getting replaced by Chromebooks and tablets. There's just nothing that we run on Windows that absolutely 100% demands Windows. We're using Mint instead of Quicken now, that was the last Windows thing we used. On the Chromebooks, the kids use Google Docs or Microsoft's own cloud based Office when it is absolutely called for. They have yet to hand in an assignment this year where the teacher could tell what source program was used.

    The Windows laptops are used mostly for browsing and there's one that my husband keeps around because his work VPN is on it, but he hasn't used it in so long, he's not entirely sure the password is up to date. We also have one Macbook that gets a little usage.

    Even so, it's much more likely that if we ever buy an actual full on computer, it would more likely be a Macbook Air rather than a Windows PC. Just never warmed up to the Metro look at all. I tried it and it looked ugly and busy to me whereas the Mac look is still familiar and simple.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday January 10, 2014 @08:22PM (#45922731) Journal

    Let's see. Other than the case, a Mac is nothing but OEM components. Sure, they may be to some degree at the middle or higher tier of OEM components, but they're just off-the-shelf parts.

    A Porsche, on the other hand, isn't just a collection of generic components. Certainly there are some, but the engines, transmissions, suspension and the like are all unique to the Porsche. A Porsche is not just a Toyota Corolla in a different case.

    So yes, there is very much a thing called the Apple Tax. Call it what you will, but you pay a premium for the logo. The very existence of Hackintoshes shows you that a Mac is just a PC with some special custom ROMs to facilitate easy installation of OS-X.

  • by iamhassi (659463) on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:33PM (#45923213) Journal
    Mac hardware lasts longer, but the OS goes out of date far faster than PCs. A ten year old Windows XP machine can run all the latest browsers, but Apple updates OS X every year so a 2004 Mac can not run 2014 Firefox, IE or Chrome.

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