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Smartphone and tablet sales continue to climb, but shipments of traditional PCs is dipping. Are we moving toward a world where laptop and desktop computers are niche products for folks that can’t get by with a more mobile device?

It’s a bit too soon to tell, but there’s a reason Intel and Microsoft are striving to make next-generation ultrabooks do more of the things we’re used to doing with iPads and Android tablets.

Sony Vaio T14 touch

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14 replies on “Lilbits (4-10-2013): PC shipments decline, Gmail turns 9…”

  1. Tablets are PCs. A company that sells laptop/desktop PCs and not tablets in 2013 is in the same situation as a company selling desktop PCs and not laptops in 2003.

    1. It seems IDC is defining PCs as any device (tablet, hybrid, notebook, desktop, etc.) that can run Windows desktop or Apple Mac OS. That’s what is being considered having declining sales.

      I guess, for now Intel is continuing to lose chip sales while ARM makers are seeing them increase. AMD is somewhere in there too.

      1. Intel has a long ways in order to make a significant dent in ARM’s dominance over mobile. It used to be Intel vs. AMD. Now it’s ARM vs.Intel and Intel is the underdog.

        Too bad Microsoft isn’t helping on the desktop side. Who knows if Blue is even going to change people’s buying decisions. There’s desktop Linux but that never had a large market and its sales numbers are probably lumped to Windows since it’s pre-installed usually.

      2. I don’t think it matters how IDC defines PCs. What matters is how customers define PCs. People seem to be buying tablets to do the same jobs that they used to buy laptops for. An analyst can pretend this is not significant, but a manufacturer cannot.

        1. Add a bluetooth keyboard and one has the functionality of a laptop computer. Perhaps this is why some companies have come out with tablet pc’s with detachable keyboards?

        2. I’m sure it was meant to say “what” has declined. The comment wasn’t necessarily promoting the philosophical discussion of defining what’s a “PC.”

          Knowing what’s declining by categorizing the products is important to manufacturers and investors. It doesn’t matter what they call the categories as along as the grouping is meaningful.

          1. My point is that the grouping is not meaningful. The PC industry has been doing OK for the last few years, but Apple has been capturing more and more of the growth and profits from everyone else. For some reason IDC and Gartner do not want to admit this, so they manipulate their categories to hide Apple’s gains.

            Perhaps the people who pay IDC and Gartner would rather hear their businesses are slumping instead of being told they are doing a poor job of competing.

          2. The grouping is meaningful and there also sub-groups within it. For example, they provide per manufacturer numbers like separate sales for Dell, HP, Apple, Lenovo, etc. They provided these sub-categories in their report.

  2. PC Desktops are a saturated market, tablets are still riding the adoption curve.
    That said, the primary limiting factor for PC turnover is the lack of applications that demand greater performance. This could well change quickly with machine vision, or other killer apps coming down the pike.

    1. Or an operating system other than Windows comes on the scene that is not bloated like Microsofts. One that is faster and less expensive. PC’s can run more than just Windows. There are some nice alternatives but one usually have to install them oneself. If they could be pre-installed, it might help PC sales; IMO.

        1. I have a notebook computer with Windows 8 and it is pretty fast. Each new version of Windows requires a lot more memory and hard drive space. I also find Windows 8 to be a little confusing too.

  3. Now that Motorola has been bought by Google, it’s unacceptable that their phones should still be difficult to root. Even HTC is coming out with a developer version of their latest phone.

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