Tablet sales slow as PCs find footing

Aug 30, 2014
Students use tablets at a school in Paris on December 3, 2012

Tablets won't eclipse personal computers as fast as once thought, according to studies by market tracker International Data Corporation (IDC).

IDC on Friday cut its for of tablets and "two-in-one" devices combining tablet and laptop features to 233.1 million, saying growth would be about half of what was originally predicted.

"When we look at the global picture, it would be easy to say that the tablet market is slowing down," said IDC research director for tablets Jean Philippe Bouchard.

"But, when we start digging into the regional dynamics, we realize that there is still a good appetite for this product category."

While shipments in mature markets such as North America and Western Europe were forecast to remain flat, those in emerging regions were expected to climb overall by 12 percent.

Meanwhile, the outlook for personal computer (PC) shipments was less dreary than originally envisioned, due in part to businesses replacing machines powered by outdated Windows XP software.

IDC forecast that worldwide PC shipments would fall by 3.7 percent this year instead of by six percent as it had predicted earlier.

Growth in shipments of desktop and in mature markets would be more than offset by reduction in emerging markets such as Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, according to IDC.

"Programs to reduce PC prices, such as Windows 8.1 with Bing, have helped to improve PC shipments in some segments," said IDC senior research analyst Jay Chou.

"Nevertheless, the prospects for significant PC growth in the long term remain tenuous, as users increasingly see PCs as only one of several computing devices."

People seem to be waiting longer to replace PCs and are increasingly tempted by alternate computing platforms, according to IDC.

A separate IDC report this week estimated that more that 1.25 billion smartphones would ship worldwide this year in a jump of nearly 24 percent from the 1.01 billion shipped last year.

The number of smartphones shipped was expected by IDC to climb to 1.8 billion annually during the next four years.

"The smartphone market, which has experienced runaway growth over the last several years, is starting to slow," said IDC research manager Ramon Llamas.

"The key for vendors now is to maintain a presence in the higher-margin mature markets, while establishing a sustainable presence within the fast-growing emerging markets."

Explore further: Smartphone market still growing as prices fall

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User comments : 7

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BSD
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2014
shopping not science
DDBear
5 / 5 (2) Aug 30, 2014
PC sales dropped because Microsoft botched Windows 8, the worst operating system ever. I don't know what Microsoft was thinking when they tried to adapt a smartphone OS to a full size PC. Maybe Microsoft employees are smoking too much medical marijuana to hallucinate such a bad user interface.
Vietvet
4.4 / 5 (5) Aug 30, 2014
shopping not science


You right it is not science, but it is under the heading of "Other News".
gopher65
3.5 / 5 (2) Aug 30, 2014
PC sales dropped because Microsoft botched Windows 8, the worst operating system ever. I don't know what Microsoft was thinking when they tried to adapt a smartphone OS to a full size PC. Maybe Microsoft employees are smoking too much medical marijuana to hallucinate such a bad user interface.

I use Vista, Win7, and Win8 on a daily basis (I have lots of computers), and I just stopped using WinXP at work a short time ago (although I'm starting a new job in a week, so we'll see;)). And you know what? Win 8 isn't that bad. The Metro "interface" is nothing more than an expanded, fullscreen start menu... at least on desktops. Literally you click on the left corner jewel (windows logo) and instead of popping up a little menu with all your programs, it pops up with a big menu with all your programs.

That's it. That's the only real interface difference from Vista through 7 to 8. Otherwise they're all really similar. 8 is much, much faster though. Much smoother experience than 7.
Grallen
2 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2014
I like Windows 8. I don't use the menu though. I survive off desktop Icons and searches. When I think about it, I didn't really use the start menu before Windows 8 either though.

I feel that the start menu is superior to the metro if you use a mouse. I always use a mouse. The loss just doesn't bug me because of all the other improvements made.
alfie_null
4.5 / 5 (2) Aug 31, 2014
So, we have Microsoft's policy of outdating their software and supplanting it with newer, not quite compatible versions to thank for saving the laptop industry. Planned obsolescence?

Laptop manufacturers might as well be joined at the hip to Microsoft.
gopher65
not rated yet Sep 08, 2014
I use Vista, Win7, and Win8 on a daily basis (I have lots of computers), and I just stopped using WinXP at work a short time ago (although I'm starting a new job in a week, so we'll see;)).

Well, just as an update, I do indeed use both Win7 and WinXP at my new job:P. So I use XP, Vista, 7, and 8 on a daily basis. Eeesh. And man does XP ever suck after you get use to the newer ones. Buggy, crashes constantly, poorly laid out, and slow (though that's partly hardware).