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PC market decline slowing, says Gartner

PC market decline slowing, says Gartner

Gartner analysts have claimed that the PC market's ongoing decline is slowing, but warn that growth is unlikely to occur in the next few years.

Market-watcher Gartner has released its latest report into the state of the global PC market, and it's looking like there's light at the end of the tunnel with signs that the market is stabilising at last.

The years-long slump in sales of traditional desktop and laptop PCs has been well publicised. In April 2013 IDC reported the biggest sales drop on record, despite the launch of Windows 8 and the hopes that it would encourage users to purchase new machines. The blame was largely placed on tablet computers, which can do the majority of consumptive tasks asked of them by casual and home users for a fraction of the cost of a traditional PC. The sales slowdown hit almost everyone hard, with Intel announcing job cuts and Sony abandoning the PC market altogether.

Recently, however, Intel claimed that it was seeing signs of growth in the PC market, following a Gartner report at the start of the year suggesting the market may be bottoming out. Now, Gartner's most recent report shows evidence that the bottom is in sight.

'2014 will be marked by a relative revival of the global PC market,' claimed Gartner's Ranjit Atwal in the company's most recent report. 'Business upgrades from Windows XP and the general business replacement cycle will lessen the downward trend, especially in Western Europe. This year, we anticipate nearly 60 million professional PC replacements in mature markets.'

The key here is 'relative revival.' According to Gartner's projections, the traditional PC market will contract 6.7 per cent by the end of the year, and 5.3 per cent in 2015 - an improvement on the recent double-digit slides. The figures can be further improved by including what the company calls 'premium ultramobiles' - devices like the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, which is technically a tablet but with the heart of a traditional laptop - which improves the contraction to a mere 2.9 per cent by the end of 2014.

Smartphone and traditional tablet devices will continue to dominate for the foreseeable future, Gartner adds. Its report suggests that shipments of Android-powered devices will reach almost 1.2 billion by the end of the year, while devices featuring a Windows variant will ship around 333.4 million.

8 Comments

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Phil Rhodes 8th July 2014, 15:36 Quote
How is the launch of windows 8 supposed to help PC sales?

It doesn't do anything new, or give any capability to a PC that a PC hasn't had since the mid-90s.

Operating systems are in one sense crucially important, of course - but in another they're a complete irrelevance. Like, say, copper. Or gravel. It just is.
SexyHyde 8th July 2014, 16:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
How is the launch of windows 8 supposed to help PC sales?

It doesn't do anything new, or give any capability to a PC that a PC hasn't had since the mid-90s.

Operating systems are in one sense crucially important, of course - but in another they're a complete irrelevance. Like, say, copper. Or gravel. It just is.

I hope you're trolling.
Phil Rhodes 8th July 2014, 17:42 Quote
Why? No, I'm completely serious.

When you launch a console, it has better graphics than the last version, or an attractive launch title, or whatever. Arguably, the same applies to PCs, although the upgrades are, of course, more incremental.

What doesn't really make any difference is the OS. As long as it's compatible with modern software - which, say, Windows 7 is - bumping the version number isn't something that's easy to sell.

I mean, complete the sentence: "You should upgrade to windows 8 over windows 7, in order to get..."
Dave Lister 8th July 2014, 19:13 Quote
"I mean, complete the sentence: "You should upgrade to windows 8 over windows 7, in order to get..."

hmm.. an even less functional PC ?
Guinevere 8th July 2014, 19:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
You should upgrade to windows 8 over windows 7, in order to get..."

...A touch screen user interface to enable your brand new 2 in 1 device to work in tablet mode.

Sure, that's not a great sales pitch for many (and thats the rub), but it's the big ticket difference for most people.

New OS versions CAN bring key benefits. I'm primarily an OSX user myself, and previous OS updates have given me greater usability improvements than Windows has over the same period, and Yosemite has some genuinely useful and new niceties (Handoff & the ability to handle phone calls from the desktop).

True, most new OS versions don't bring 'much' to the table, but a decent OS revision will add to what is already good and not be too afraid to change what needs changing.

Windows 8 was a toughie, as many benefits were invisible to most people and the major change was a turn off to many.
rayson 9th July 2014, 04:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere

Windows 8 was a toughie, as many benefits were invisible to most people and the major change was a turn off to many.

this I agree with
Cthippo 10th July 2014, 12:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes

Operating systems are in one sense crucially important, of course - but in another they're a complete irrelevance. Like, say, copper. Or gravel. It just is.

I'm with Phil on this one...

I used to be a bit of a Windows fanboi until I experimented with linux and realized that...an OS is an OS is an OS.

It's a shell that allows you to access files and programs on a computer. Some are easier to use, some are better optimized for certain applications, some are just plain ugly, but they all do the same thing.

Windows 9 might indeed create a bump in sales as there are some people who are getting ready for a new computer, but don't want to run Windows 8. A certain pent-up demand, as it were. I'm in this category as I'll probably be ready to replace my current machine sometime next year and if W9's UI doesn't make me physically ill the way W8s does then it might be a factor in when I decide to upgrade.
ssj12 14th July 2014, 04:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere

...A touch screen user interface to enable your brand new 2 in 1 device to work in tablet mode.

Sure, that's not a great sales pitch for many (and thats the rub), but it's the big ticket difference for most people.

IE, Im sticking with Windows 7 because it features nothing I care about. And something a large number of people do not care about. I downgraded my father's Acer laptop from 8 to 7 because he couldnt stand it. He even stated that Vista is superior to 8, which I happen to agree....
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