Frankfurt, Germany (Weltexpress). Sales of PCs have plummeted by a dramatic 14% to 76.3 million worldwide in the first three months of 2013, according to figures just released by International Data Corp.
It is the biggest decline since IDC began recording industry data in 1994, and the fourth straight quarter in a row. It exceeds by far the 7.7% drop expected for the period.
The world’s largest PC maker, Hewlett Packard, suffered the steepest drop in global shipments with a 24 per cent decline, according to IDC figures, while Dell posted an 11 per cent drop. In China, Lenovo, the world’s second-largest PC maker, has reported no significant decline as they benefit from first-time buyers in the Chinese market.
Elsewhere, however, consumers are increasingly turning to tablet computers and smart phones, preferring them even to laptops. Tougher economic times are leading companies to tighten their belts, extending their traditional three-year PC renewal cycle to five years. All this is bad news for PC makers.
Not even the launch of Microsoft’s Windows 8 was able to give the PC market the needed shot in the arm – in fact, it may even have added to the PC market’s woes. Windows 8 is designed to operate well with touch-screens, but these tend to push up PC prices.
Speaking to Sky News, Jay Chou, a senior research analyst at IDC commented, “Users are finding Windows 8 to offer a compromised experience that doesn’t excel either as a new mobile interface or in a classic desktop interface.
“As a result, many users find a decline in the traditional PC experience without gaining much from new features like touch. The result is that many consumers are worried about upgrading to Windows 8, to say nothing of business users who are still just getting into Windows 7.”
The combination of consumer preference for portable devices together with higher prices has led to the drop in the attractiveness of PCs.
Industry insiders said that Microsoft would be putting out a smaller, 7-inch version of its Windows 8-powered Surface laptop/tablet hybrid in answer to the iPad Mini and Google Nexus.
Microsoft was not immediately available for comment.