The Imploding PC Industry – Sales Fall 14%

IDC Report

According to IDC, PC sales fell 14 percent this quarter on a year over year basis, the biggest decline since IDC started tracking the PC market in 1994.

IDC was only expecting a 7.7 percent drop for the first quarter.

Last year Microsoft updated Windows, the software that runs over 90 percent of personal computers, but very few tablets or phones. The update was supposed to make Microsoft’s computing products more touch friendly, allowing it to compete with iOS and Android, the mobile platforms from Apple and Google. Our pre-release review slammed Windows 8 for its confusing UI. We have recommended clients stick with Windows 7, unless they have a desire to increase IT support head count.

Instead, Windows 8, as we predicted, seems to have scared consumers, thus accelerating the death of the traditional PC model.

“At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market,” said Bob O’Donnell, IDC Program Vice President, Clients and Displays in IDC’s press release.

He added, “While some consumers appreciate the new form factors and touch capabilities of Windows 8, the radical changes to the UI, removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices. Microsoft will have to make some very tough decisions moving forward if it wants to help reinvigorate the PC market.”

In other words, IDC says smartphones and tablets are killing PC sales.

This is really bad news for Microsoft. It is totally whiffing on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. If the PC business continues to contract, it’s in a lot trouble.

Here’s a look at the decline on per-company basis. Not included here is Apple, which shipped 1.4 million units in the U.S. per IDC, a 7.5 percent drop


Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide PC Shipments, First Quarter 2013 (Preliminary)
(Units Shipments are in thousands)
1Q13 Market
1Q12 Market
1. HP11,99715.7%15,72617.7%-23.7%
2. Lenovo11,70015.3%11,70513.2%0.0%
3. Dell9,01011.8%10,11011.4%-10.9%
4. Acer Group6,1508.1%8,95210.1%-31.3%
5. ASUS4,3635.7%5,4016.1%-19.2%
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, April 10, 2013

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