Global PC sales set to drop in 2012: survey

October 10, 2012
A technician checks notebook at a computer shop in Taipei in 2010. Global sales of personal computers are set to show a decline for the first time in 11 years, a new forecast showed Wednesday.

Global sales of personal computers are set to show a decline for the first time in 11 years, a new forecast showed Wednesday.

A survey by IHS said the total PC market in 2012 is expected to contract by 1.2 percent to 348.7 million units, down from 352.8 million in 2011.

That would be the first drop since 2001, but sales have been sluggish for the past two years.

"There was great hope through the first half that 2012 would prove to be a rebound year for the PC market," said Craig Stice, an IHS analyst.

"Now three-quarters through the year, the usual boost from the back-to-school season appears to be a bust, and both AMD's and Intel's third-quarter outlooks appear to be flat to down."

IHS said a strong rebound could still occur in 2013, with more adoption of Windows 8 computers and newer, thinner gaining tracking.

"Whether a newly configured PC space could then stand up to the powerful smartphone and tablet markets, however, remains to be seen," IHS said.

Analysts say PCs have taken a back seat to tablets and smartphones in recent months.

IHS said last month that of are expected to surge to 126.6 million in 2012, driven by the and rivals.

Some analysts say tablet sales will overtake that of PCs by 2016, or possibly earlier.

Explore further: Apple describes post-PC era, surprise of success

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1 / 5 (1) Oct 10, 2012

The Great Wall of Inherent Usefulness approaches.

Most "consumers" already have difficulty in even beginning to max out their pc's capacity, and so remain content to keep what they have, as long as they continue to accomplish the basic tasks required of them.

Plus, "Market Penetration" has already peaked.

New, upgraded, faster, more powerful PCs will continue to be purchased regularly by geeks, first-time and replacement- buyers, and by those few who require maximum capacity at home.

The Great Wall of Usefulness encircles the Plateau of Sales.

And think twice, Bill Gates, before creating a new OS that requires an order or two of magnitude more space to run --there is a limit to how much people will pay without a consequent increase in plain old common utility.

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