For those of us who continue to resist the idea that the PC is becoming extinct, Gartner has an interesting hypothesis.
According to Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, in a press release:
Whereas as once we imagined a world in which individual users would have both a PC and a tablet as personal devices, we increasingly suspect that most individuals will shift consumption activity to a personal tablet, and perform creative and administrative tasks on a shared PC.
The analysis accompanies Gartner’s report that worldwide PC sales fell by 4.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 90.3 million units. Consumers are replacing older PCs with tablets, but haven’t given up on PCs entirely, Gartner explains. Many users will retain both products, but tablets will be a personal device, while PCs increasingly will be a shared resource.
Either way, PC sales are declining. The good news for vendors, Gartner says, is that technology advancements are resonating with consumers. The disenfranchised PCs are those with lighter configurations, while average selling prices (ASPs) for applications-rich PCs are poised to increase when users do replace their older devices.
The transition period is likely to be painful for component suppliers, however. Even though retailers were able to clear their shelves on Windows 7-based PCs during the holiday period, there’s still a lot of Windows 8 PC inventory lying around. PC vendors were able to ship their Windows 8 products from their warehouses, but sell-through at retail and other outlets has been slow.
It’s unclear if PC makers will be placing new component orders, or waiting until existing inventory has cleared. The release of Windows 8 did not have a significant impact on PC sales, Gartner says.
Other highlights of the report:
Hewlett-Packard regained its No. 1 slot in worldwide PC shipments in 2012's fourth quarter with 15.2 percent market share
Lenovo dropped to No. 2, with 15.5 percent market share
US PC shipments totaled 17.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012, a 2.1 percent decline from 2011's fourth quarter
PC shipments in EMEA totaled 28.1 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012, a 9.6 percent decrease from the prior year
Shipments in Asia/Pacific totaled 29.9 million units in 2012's fourth quarter, a 1.8 percent decline from the fourth quarter in 2011
Once new Tablets are coming up with high computational power and storage facility, then the trend may be in reverse.
@Jacob, the latest released ultrabooks which have high computational power and memory can be easily converted into tablets. So I am guessing these ultrabooks will become popular in coming days because you can use it as notebook or you can use it as tablet.
Tablets are great if you like to cover your "social" and "communication" needs and that's all.
@nemos, I totally agree with your opinion. Tablets cannot replace PC's. Professionals still rely on desktops/laptops to do their dayily job because its easy to feed the data and easy to process the data.
Granted. Workers on the field can benefit from sharing PCs. Also, sharing PCs at home does make sense.
However, from personal experience, even at home sharing a PC does cause problems. My desktop was filled with little icons and links to videos and images etc. used by my wife when I was sharing my laptop at some stage. I had to get her a separate PC to keep my sanity adn to save gigabytes of hard disk space! :)
Cryptoman: When I thought about it, Gartner's analysis reflected trends that I see in home use. We all have a tablet, and one PC (going on two) is shared by the family. In the workplace, though, you are correct: I don't think the shared use makes sense when PCs are so affordable. The one case where it might makes sense is sales--I know a lot of salespeople that use tabelts on the road and are rarely in the office. Maybe several salespeople would share a PC when they are in the office?
Barbara, this analysis by Gartner baffled me a bit to be honest. I cannot see how the PCs could increasingly become a shared resource when the hardware component prices are always declining. In addition, because things are very affordable for most people these days, we prefer to live "personally" in the sense that we prefer to own things for our exclusive use; we don't like to share.
Given the above observations, how can the PCs ever be shared. The last time I had to share a PC was in 1993 as the president of the Computer Society at my university. Since then I never considered or had to share a PC. At the time sharing was the only option as PCs were not affordable then especially as a student.
Gartner's projection probably is based on the assumption that because not many PCs will be sold, software available for PCs will not sell as much and therefore it will be very expensive. I can see that PC software prices may go up a bit as the PC sales drop but can they ever be as expensive to propmpt sharing a PC between multiple users? I am not so sure...
In my opinion, in the area of software development, CAD, animation and graphics related work, and such areas will still be dominated by PCs. Today's,s PCs will evolve to take place of yesterdays expensive work stations and the mini servers.
Nemos, as of now the tread is an additional device (tablet) with the existing devices like PC/Laptop. But when new version of tablets are introducing to market having high computational power/storage /Memory etc, then the trend may be in favor for Tablets. like you said as of now tablets can be use like a net book and ipods.
Barbara, there is no doubt that Tablets will gain momentum in personal device segment. But as of now I won't think it can replace any existing PC/laptop because of the lack of computational power and memory. Once new Tablets are coming up with high computational power and storage facility, then the trend may be in reverse.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.