PC shipments continued to disappoint in the second quarter of 2012, declining 0.1 percent from the same period last year. This was, according to Gartner’s Mikako Kitagawa, the seventh successive quarter of “flat to single-digit growth” for the global PC industry. Gartner is not alone, though, as the latest data from market research firm IDC also points to an identical 0.1-percent decline in global PC shipments during the quarter.
As with each new version of Windows, Microsoft is not the only one counting on the success of Windows 8. The entire PC industry is hoping that the next iteration of the world’s most popular PC operating system will help lift sluggish sales. But not everyone foresees the launch of Windows 8 later this year stimulating PC sales.
Tablet sales are expected to reach 118.9 million units by the end of the year, a nearly two-fold increase (98 percent) from 60 million units in 2011, market research firm Gartner predicts. It's no surprise that Apple's iPad leads the way and, if Gartner's crystal ball is in proper alignment, the iOS platform will account for more than 61 percent of worldwide tablet sales by the end of 2012. That too isn't shocking. But would you have guessed that Android will still be chasing iOS through 2016, and perhaps longer?
In 2010, the semiconductor spending crown belonged to Hewlett-Packard, more than logical considering HP is the world's largest PC manufacturer. But in 2011, it was Apple that took the No. 1 spot by spending nearly $17.3 billion on semiconductors, up a whopping 34.6 percent over what it spent in 2010 and enough to grab hold of 5.7 percent of the total semiconductor market, according to data released by market research firm Gartner.
According to Gartner's preliminary figures, worldwide semiconductor revenue grew just 0.9 percent from 2010, topping out at $302 billion in 2011. After a strong start to the year, the semiconductor market was on pace to grow at a greater clip than less than 1 percent, but then buyers worried about the strength of the economy started to cut back orders for equipment and semiconductors, Gartner says.
The sky isn't falling or anything like that, but worldwide semiconductor spending won't be quite as high as previously thought, according to market research firm Gartner. The psychic bean counters at Gartner now believe semiconductor spending in 2012 will reach $309 billion worldwide, a 2.2 percent increase from 2011, but down from Gartner's previous forecast of 4.6 percent growth.
It may have once seemed inconceivable that Google's Android platform could not only catch up with iOS, but surpass it, however now it seems equally unlikely that iPhones will ever again outnumber Android smartphones. To wit, Android smartphones now lead iOS smartphones (iPhone devices) by a measure of more than three-to-one, according to data provided by market research firm Gartner.
As PC users, we're so used to hearing sirens warn that the sky is falling we barely notice the noise anymore. Part of the reason for that is because even when things are bad, they're still pretty good. That's again the case today as market research firm Gartner lowers its PC shipments forecast for 2011, but a closer examination of the numbers shows there's reason to remain confident in the state of PCs.
Even though Windows 7 rocks the socks off the decade-old XP and the lackluster ball of consumer disappointment known as Vista, Microsoft has had a hard time convincing PC users to make the switch to their new (well, two years old) operating system. When 2011 first rolled around, less than one in ten North American PCs rocked Redmond's latest offering. Expect that number to look a whole lot different by New Year's; one leading analytical firm says Windows 7 will be the most common OS in the world by the time 2012 rears its ugly head.
If you're not rocking a solid state drive in your system, it's probably because of price, are we right? And specifically, the cost per gigabyte can be hard to swallow when mechanical hard drives offer such a superior value, at least in terms of what you're paying. SSDs have a long way to go before they catch up to HDDs, but maybe they don't have to. Maybe SSDs just need to offer a better value before the mainstream market dives in en masse.