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

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 alen ( 225700 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:03PM (#45920819)

    i have a 2 year old macbook i'll use for another few years

  • by glennrrr ( 592457 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:04PM (#45920823)
    Apple's PC shipments are up 28% in the US. Good for them as a side business.
  • Custom Builds (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Koby77 ( 992785 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:04PM (#45920829)
    How many brand PC units were replaced by custom built PCs?
  • I'm not worried... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:06PM (#45920855)

    The general public and most end users have never needed the power of the PC in the first place. With the advent of throwaway tablet trash, the herd has finally found the correct fit.

  • by zippo01 ( 688802 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:07PM (#45920865)
    This just isn't news to me. There is a large percentage of people that don't really need a PC todo what they do. play online, email, Social media, shop, pictuers, etc.... Until a few years ago the PC was the only way todo this so, they bought a PC. They bought an item that designed todo work and tweeked for home use, so it was overly complex for most. Along came the smart phone and tablet. Small, portable, works, it's SIMPLE and does everything they want/need it todo. Couple that with the slowing of PC speeds advances and new techknology, it is no wornder PC sales are down. They will continue to go down until they reach their new equilibrium.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:10PM (#45920901)

    All you need to do is slap the UI of XP on Windows 8 and kill the tile interface for desktops: Massive sales in 4 months.

  • Re:Custom Builds (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Godkills ( 1205638 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:13PM (#45920927)
    Custom built PCs are a niche market. I highly doubt they would have anything near a 10% impact on the entire PC market.
  • by cogeek ( 2425448 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:13PM (#45920929)
    This is no shock. They've been proclaiming the death of the PC for 15 years or better and the laptop for the last 5 or so. Tablets are cheap, they perform all of the functions the average user needs (browsing, email) But sit down and try to type a novel on a tablet. Or do any sort of CADD work. Programming, 3D modelling, animation, it's not going to happen on a tablet. And 3-4 years from now when everyone's tablet batteries start failing and people realize they have to throw them away and buy another, we'll see the laptop and PC coming back stronger, but it probably won't ever reach the levels it was once at. Doesn't mean it's going away, just the market balancing itself.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:24PM (#45921051)

    I'd say even that isn't going far enough. I have a 2004 64bit Athlon 4800. It still runs great and is our main home PC for web browsing and office work. Even latest games still run acceptable after a vid card upgrade.

    The only issue I have had is vlc struggles to play highly compressed hd content, but avc official codec plays it fine with only 40% on one core.

    Software IMO has stagnated. I can't think of anything I do at home or at work in a desktop PC that I wasn't doing 10 years ago.

    Btw... that 10 year old PC cost me $3,500, with everyone saying it was a waste of money because it would be obsolete in 3 years...

    The only people I see buying pcs are doing so because old ones have died, not because of any needle needed abilities.

  • by MindPrison ( 864299 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:29PM (#45921123) Journal
    ...and still running just fine. Very little is happening on the PC market (except graphics card wise), I just couldn't justify upgrading to an i7 gaming platform that in Scandinavia cost around 2500$. It only had 16 gig memory, whereas my old one got 8 gig. The only thing I did to my "old" quad core pc, was to add a brand new Nvidia 760GTX, and basically every game ran smooth as ever. Even my 3D design software (which uses GPU rendering anyway) ran fantastic with this upgrade. So yeah, if more people do what I just did (which I suspect they do), there's part of your decline in sales right there - the new computers just aren't innovative enough to justify spending hard earned cash on them.
  • Re:Custom Builds (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:30PM (#45921135)

    Why not. It's an exponential market.

    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.

    And they go out and tell other people to get away from the name brand overpriced paying for a name machines. And it just keeps growing.

    I can easily see it being 10% of computers now. Maybe even 20%. Someones keeping newegg in business and growing.

  • by Jody Bruchon ( 3404363 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:31PM (#45921157)
    Everyone will say "no sense replacing what works" and I agree. Let's look at what one would be able to buy now, though, and why people wouldn't buy it.

    On the low end of the price spectrum, you have Chromebooks (yuck, puke, no one sane buys these unless they put Linux on it instead), Celerons, and AMD E2 and A4 processors; none of those are even remotely fast. Moving up in price, you see a lot of AMD APUs and Intel Core i3-M systems. I've owned two fairly new laptops recently, one with an AMD A8-4500M ($400) and one with an Intel Core i7-2630QM ($830). The i7 was disappointing (it's a freaking i7, it should absolutely blaze) and only more so because for tasks that are not heavy in the data processing side of things (i.e. data/video compression, software compilation) the A8 seemed to move much faster than the i7 with identical Windows 7 images. Unfortunately, someone at AMD had the stupid idea of making the L1 instruction caches a pitiful 16KB in size and that makes data-heavy tasks run like dog poo.

    On the higher side of things, you find ridiculous and exotic offerings like the Yoga 2 Pro with a 13.3" LCD that has a 3200x1800 resolution (hint: you can't read anything at all unless you squint) and it comes with a low-performance ULV version of a mobile (read: already low-performance without being ULV) Core i5 and a nice low-performance Intel GPU, and all versions of this insane hardware combination are around the $1000 mark. I also firmly believe that while there is a market for "ultrabooks," the majority of people out there are wasting their money on "convertible laptops" and having touchscreens for Windows 8. It's a neat shiny new feature that ends up only being useful in niche situations and otherwise was no different than wrapping $400 up and chucking it in the rubbish bin.

    Why would anyone buy a new laptop when they are so ridiculous? If you're penny-pinching, you get a machine with tons of RAM, hard drive space, and maybe even USB 3.0, but the CPU is slow beyond belief and the whole system suffers. Dropping a few hundred more bucks might get you into i7 territory but even the i7 up to Sandy Bridge is, in my experience, not much better than equivalent higher-end chips in laptops made four years ago. Why blow $1000 on a really nice new laptop when they're either not much better than what you already own or they're an expensive high-resolution joke of a machine? No thanks; I'll wait until they sweeten the pot some more. (And until the convertibles fad goes to hell.)
  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:37PM (#45921217)

    I can't believe people are choosing other tablets.

    So you think people buying a $70 Android tablet should be buying $1000 Surface tablets instead?

  • by unixisc ( 2429386 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @05:38PM (#45921243)
    The biggest enemy of the PC industry has been.... (drumroll!) ...PCs
  • by washu_k ( 1628007 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @06:49PM (#45921983)
    You do realize that a Celeron 847 is way faster than the GP's P4 3.8 GHz? Don't let the Celeron name fool you, it is still a dual core sandy bridge chip, just clocked low.

    The lowest end AMD E2s might get bested by the P4, but the higher clocked ones would still be a big improvement.

    The bigger problem with most cheap laptops is the slow HD and lack of RAM which would cripple any CPU. Give a Celeron 847 an SSD and 4GB+ and it would be fine for most non CPU intensive or gaming tasks. Much better than the P4 for sure.
  • by morgauxo ( 974071 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @06:49PM (#45921987)

    A lot of people like to say that the Desktop PC is dead or dying. I doubt that but I think the market is going to shrink A LOT in the next 10 years. What people seem to forget is that before the internet most people did not have PCs and yet, there were several companies making a lot of money selling them.

    I think most people in our society have a strong aversion to technology. They don't want to learn about it, they may want something from it (the internet) but they don't want to make ANY effort to learn anything about it in order to get that. It's not that they are unable or even unwilling to learn something, it's specifically technology. They learn other things in absurd detail like sports stats and clebrity trivia.

    People don't want to see technology. They are repulsed by the site of something that looks technical. That's why TVs have to be flatter. You only see the front, the front is a picture of something else, not a TV. Before flat screens the big thing was to hide them inside cabinets with doors that close. People do that to their stereos too. Somehow a overpriced but cheap piece of fiberboard is better to look at than some shiny piece of kit.

    I think what we actually have is a society full of wannabe ludites. They would be ludites except... they can't break themselves of their internet and entertainment habits to become real ludites.

    But, now there are tablets and other small devices. Tablets and phones look more like jewelry and require less actual learning to use. So, the ludite wanabee masses are ditching the PCs they didn't really want to have in the first place and getting their fix from their.

    But, that tech friendly minority of the population that always existed before has not gone extinct. We too will use our tablets and phones where it is appropriate but some things are just better on a bigger device that is not encumbered by the size, energy and weight restrictions of a portable. We will buy Desktops just like we did 15-20 years ago. That is a much smaller market but it was big enough to float large corporations then, it will be big enough now... once the number of competitors is whittled down a bit.

    The sad thing is I think their time with PCs was actually starting to mend people's mass psychosis of tech hatred. Now people will just revert back to their old ways.

  • by Archfeld ( 6757 ) * <> on Friday January 10, 2014 @06:55PM (#45922051) Journal

    Any cites for that so-called fact. MAC's are closed systems with a much more engineered life span than a clone PC. As stated previously no parts to be swapped any failure is the end of life for a MAC. The anomaly of MAC's upswing could be attributed to the absolute lack of any upgrade path.

  • by sl149q ( 1537343 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @07:17PM (#45922247)

    They did bring back the "Start Button" for 8.1.

    Unfortunately not the actual Start Menu inside it thought :-(

    The current rumours say we'll see the actual Start Menu in 8.2. That plus auto start to desktop and you are almost back to Win 7!

    Will it be too little too late? Under the hood Win 8 is really not that much different from Win 7. Probably better. If you can keep corporate desktop users from having to screw around with Metro ever and make it look like Win 7 corporate use may pickup.

    I was in Home Depot last weekend and noticed that the Service Desk computers where still running WinXP Professional.

  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @08:01PM (#45922571) Homepage Journal

    This just go show several things:

    The market is saturated
    New computers are not that much better than what you have now.
    Most people never wanted a PC but wanted a tablet..
    The economy still sucks..

I go on working for the same reason a hen goes on laying eggs. -- H.L. Mencken