Best Buy Sees "Crashing" Tablet Sales

Paul Lilly

Tablet fad is slowing down

Best Buy's computer section looks decidedly different today than it did a couple of years ago. Gone are the aisles filled with desktop machines, which are now relegated to a small section off the side (if at all), replaced by mobile devices, including rows and rows of tablets. You can't fault Best Buy for following the money trail, and just as tablets took over the floor space when everyone wanted one, look for PCs to take some of its territory back. Why? Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly says tablets are now crashing.

Joly made the statement to Re/Code in an interview, adding that he's seeing a revival in the PC business at Best Buy due in part to Microsoft's decision to stop supporting Windows XP. In addition, two-in-one devices that combine both a tablet and laptop are gaining favor among Best Buy's shoppers.

"The tablets boomed and now are crashing. The volume has really gone down in the last several months. But I think the laptop has something of a revival because it’s becoming more versatile," Joly said . "So, with the two-in-ones, you have the opportunity to have both a tablet and laptop, and that’s appealing to students in particular. So you have an evolution. The boundaries are not as well defined as they used to be."

Interestingly, Joly blamed some of the declining PC sales on the "enormous" deflation in the Windows market. He points out that you can find laptops selling for $300 that used to cost $1,000. The solution? More innovation at the high end of Windows, Joly says.

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