Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses Technology Hardware

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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

PC Shipments In 2013 See the Worst Yearly Decline In History

Comments Filter:
  • by roc97007 (608802) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:01PM (#45920789) Journal

    Film at eleven.

  • by Jimbookis (517778) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:03PM (#45920815)
    Anything sold in the last 4-5 years with an i3/i5/i7 with over 2GB of RAM and Vista or Win7 is still more than enough for most businesses and individuals. There is no real incentive to replace the whole machine when there are cheap options to upgrade with a few more GB and an SSD to give it a new lease of life.
  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:09PM (#45920893)
    Also people are turning to tablets more often for casual computing rather than getting a 2nd or 3rd computer. And then some people just don't like Win 8.
  • by msobkow (48369) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:12PM (#45920925) Homepage Journal

    Old PCs are good enough. I'm still on a 3.8 GHz P4 single core running Debian, and it's fast enough for everything I do but running my pet project or doing video encoding, both of which I do on my Core i7 laptop.

    My folks recently had to replace their machine. It's a quad core unit that is such serious overkill for email and surfing it's not even funny. Unless it breaks down, I doubt they'll *ever* have to replace it.

  • by hairyfish (1653411) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:13PM (#45920939)
    That, and that fact that Win8 is an unmitigated disaster. Had Win8 given us a Win7-type interface then I'm sure the slowing PC market wouldn't have slowed quite as quickly.
  • by roc97007 (608802) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:15PM (#45920959) Journal

    There is that. It'd be difficult to quantify, but I suspect that there is a significant percentage of people who were going to get another PC, but decided to wait rather than struggle with Win8.

    But I think the overriding factor is that PCs made since, oh, 2007 are fast enough for any but the most demanding needs.

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:19PM (#45921009) Journal

    Old PCs are good enough. I'm still on a 3.8 GHz P4 single core running Debian, and it's fast enough for everything I do but running my pet project or doing video encoding, both of which I do on my Core i7 laptop.

    My folks recently had to replace their machine. It's a quad core unit that is such serious overkill for email and surfing it's not even funny. Unless it breaks down, I doubt they'll *ever* have to replace it.

    That's kinda the point -- you can't BUY a PC these days that isn't serious overkill for email and surfing.

  • Re:Custom Builds (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DogDude (805747) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:19PM (#45921015) Homepage
    How many brand PC units were replaced by custom built PCs?

    There's very little incentive to create a "custom" PC any more. Very powerful machines can be gotten refurbished for less than $300. My guess would be that custom PC's are less than 1% of the entire PC market.
  • by orthancstone (665890) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:25PM (#45921065)

    It'd be difficult to quantify, but I suspect that there is a significant percentage of people who were going to get another PC, but decided to wait rather than struggle with Win8.

    Doubtful. There's nothing sexy about a laptop, whereas Apple and Google (via Samsung and others) have made tablets the go-to computing device of the moment. Win8 is barely moving the needle on this decision; it is all being decided by form factor.

  • by Peristaltic (650487) * on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:39PM (#45921255)

    I open up Windows Store Apps only on the the Modern UI display and Win32/64 apps on the desktop displays.

    Okay, I'll bite: What benefit could you experience on the Metro side (worth dedicating a monitor) that you can't with the desktop?

  • Re:Theories? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:43PM (#45921285)

    III. is incorrect. The tech-savvies "coming of age" now have jobs, relationships, kids, responsibilities. Gone are the days of spending a whole day troubleshooting and tweaking video drivers to get the latest game to work. Now it's a matter of "I need it to work and don't have the time to fix it". That's when you realize the phones, tablets and Macs are built to be simple and reliable to use. Perhaps not perfect but reliable. Those who have come-of-age have a little more money than time these days.

  • by Radical Moderate (563286) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:44PM (#45921303)
    I think that's a factor. Last time I bought a PC it was partly because I wanted to upgrade to win7. Nobody wants to "upgrade" to 8, I expect a lot of people are waiting for MS to replace it with an OS that sucks less.
  • by scamper_22 (1073470) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:47PM (#45921335)

    What is odd though is that this is not an enviable market to be in. People spend all kinds of money on things they don't need or replacing things that work perfectly well.

    Even with something as expensive as cars, many people just want a newer car for the simple reason that it is newer. Their old car works perfectly well. But hey,,, time to buy a new car.

    People spend so much money eating out or on coffee and snacks... yet think twice before spending $1.99 or some app.

    People replace clothes all the time just because they're bored of it.

    Apple has probably been the most visible in its ability to get people to think of the computing market like they do the rest of life.

    I often catch myself thinking about my purchases. I'll be cheap about my computer or worry about spending money on a game that takes so much skill to make (so many programmers, graphic artists, managers...). Then I'll go out and spend $50.00 at a restaurant or blow $50 on a pair of jeans that probably cost $5 to make and rest is all show.

    Current PCs are good enough, but it is sad how poorly we treat the field relative to the rest of life.

    yeah, a PC is just a tool... and that's the problem.
    A cup of coffee is just a cup of coffee.
    A pair of jeans is just clothing.

    Somehow many other fields manage to make it more than that and that keeps the money going.

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:49PM (#45921369) Journal

    > The market was never driven by equipment wearing out, it was always about rapid planned obsolescence.

    Well, it was also driven by being on the steep end of a new technology curve. The 386 was fast compared to the 8088, but the 486 was a godsend if you were doing anything besides text editing. There was a time when you couldn't want to get your hands on the next generation hardware, because current hardware really wasn't good enough. Now it is. (Has been for some time.)

    Honestly, I haven't seen a lot of planned obsolescence in current PC hardware. The examples I can think of have to do with software, not hardware. For instance, Windows XP getting slower and slower as the number of patches increases. (As discussed on Slashdot recently.)

  • by HiThere (15173) <charleshixsn@earthlink . n et> on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:52PM (#45921419)

    Tablets don't have decent keyboards. Smart phone additionally have screens that are too small.

    There are a lot of use cases where tablets and smartphones are sufficient. There's a huge number where they aren't. But people will use what they have on hand even if it's poorly adapted to the job.

    FWIW, I'm considering getting a smartphone. It has a use-case that makes sense. I can't see ANY case for a tablet...except for things like warehouse worker, or inventory control. The ergonomics of keyboards are bad enough.

  • by unimacs (597299) on Friday January 10, 2014 @06:05PM (#45921519)
    Because most people aren't interested using a command line, USB keyboards/mice, or X-box controllers on a tablet. Suitable alternatives to Word, Outlook, and Excel exist on other platforms and swiping to switch apps is not unique to the Surface.

    Lots of people thought the iPad would flop because what THEY wanted was a more lightweight and portable PC with a touch screen and decent battery life. That's not what an iPad is and it's not what the people who are buying them (and similar Android tablets) want.

    If you really want a mechanical keyboard there are tons of bluetooth choices and frankly I just don't understand why anyone would want to use a mouse with a tablet. It makes no sense. I'd rather have a tablet that's a great tablet and a PC that's a great PC than one device that's only marginally good at being either one.
  • Re:Custom Builds (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tynin (634655) on Friday January 10, 2014 @06:39PM (#45921903)

    After friends/relatives/neighbors wanted me to work on their pos dell/gateway/emachines/sony.. I talked most of them into building one for their next upgrade instead of going back to shit companys who won't support you anyway unless you pay. alot.

    Most of them went for the custom machine easy. Half the price. Better preformance. No crapware on top. And if i have to 'support' them. I don't want to do it for shitty machines. I built more than a few of them for people too. $50.. an hour of my time picking parts. an hour assembling and installing windows. $25 an hour for something i enjoy doing. Everyones happy and it ends up alot less work and downtime/problems for everyone in the future.

    You sound like me ten year ago. I know everyone is different, but get out while you can. If you get more friends and family coming to you, you'll find more and more things breaking, more problems coming up, with expectations that your weekends are no longer yours. And more often than not, over time, these same friends and family will begin expecting you to just fix it, and may even get rude or cause you issues if you expect much more than a "Thank You! Till next time I my smoking causes my GPU to fail due to the dust gunk that caked over the heatsink causing it to overheat for the last few months". And somehow, again over time, they'll come to blame you for these problems that you should have been able to warn them about or prevent. I still assist close friends with anything I can help them with, because they aren't assholes, but some "friends" and definitely some family will take advantage of you. If you feel the desire to pursue this line of work, find a way to do it professionally, and only deal with customers.

  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Friday January 10, 2014 @06:44PM (#45921947)

    Win8 + ClassicShell is fine

    Third party UI add-on. 95% of users will never even hear of it, much less use it. Meaningless to the over-all acceptance of Win 8.

  • by istartedi (132515) on Friday January 10, 2014 @06:51PM (#45922007) Journal

    It isn't just the UI. They need to get rid of Windows Store. They also need to distance themselves from UEFI boot restrictions both in word and deed. Windows 8 isn't just a bad UI. It's too much lock-in for the PC. Consumers are OK with their phone and even their tablet being an appliance. They want their PC to be general-purpose. PC users don't get a lot of credit. I think they appreciate these issues more than some realize.

    What they really ought to do is come out with service packs for the old OSs after their EOL dates, and charge subscription fees for patching. I'm on the record as being willing to pony up $30/yr. for XP patches rather than replace my old XP machine. A lot of people are in this, "take our money, please" situation; but MS won't go that way.

    Also, just make the full compiler suite free, dammit. It's not like that's really earning you a lot of revenue; but just think of how much more software you'll get when your developers don't have to sign up for some program or pay out like a bunch of weenies.

    In other words, quite being a bad copy of Apple and re-embrace your role as the competition that provides and alternative approach.

    Then for you next project you can do something like OSX with a BSD-based core; but don't abandon the old PC ecosystem. Do it as a separate project, a separate company perhaps to isolate it from the toxic corporate culture. The world is ready for Xenix 2.0 on the desktop now.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Friday January 10, 2014 @07:01PM (#45922115) Homepage

    > Mac mini was in its own world for years,

    Not it wasn't. It was just heavily marketed to a bunch of idiots that think that Apple invents everything that it sells.

    I got my first low profile PC in 1999 and was advocating for something like the Mac Mini right here on this website when Apple was still selling that desk lamp monstrosity.

  • by gweilo8888 (921799) on Friday January 10, 2014 @07:54PM (#45922511)
    Also, if kept reasonably clean, a Mac will last way longer than the typical OEM box/laptop.

    Is that from the ministry of made-up statistics? Because if so, I'd like to rebut with this, from the ministry of silly ministries -- I have multiple, perfectly-working Windows-based PC machines (both desktop and laptop) that are well over a decade old. In fact, the *only* component failures of any kind that I have had with my machines are hard disks, fans, and keyboards, all of which fail with identical frequency in Macs because they are the exact same components.

TRANSACTION CANCELLED - FARECARD RETURNED

Working...