If you've been paying attention to the PC wars, you've known for awhile it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Lenovo at some point would leapfrog Hewlett-Packard (HP) to become the world's top PC supplier. Well, one major research firm claims that's exactly what happened in the third quarter of 2012, while a second firm still has HP ranked No. 1. Sadly, one thing all the major bean counters agree on is that the PC market in general is looking pretty pathetic. Let's take a look.
With Microsoft getting ready to launch its next generation operating system (OS), buyers and vendors appear stuck in a holding pattern staring at soon-to-be dated inventory. As a result, analysts at International Data Corporation (IDC) lowered their outlook on the market and now predict the PC shipments will grow just 0.9 percent in 2012. That's actually up slightly compared to one year ago, though it's the second consecutive year of sub-2 percent growth, IDC says.
If the choice is to go big or go home, Microsoft is opting for the former with its Surface tablet strategy. Much to the chagrin of Acer and other hardware partners who wish Microsoft would bow out of the tablet race completely, the Redmond software giant is reportedly gearing up to the splash the mobile market with more than 3 million Surface devices to be sold through its own retail store locations and other outlets.
Intel has launched a new generation of processors, PC markers have released a slew of new machines, and yet nobody is buying them. New data from Gartner and IDC are suggesting that OEM’s continue to struggle in the second quarter to sell new machines, even though refreshed designs traditionally help kick start sales. PC makers shipped around 87.1 million PCs this quarter, which when compared to last year’s 87.2 million represents a concerning trend for investors who expect constant growth. Both analyst firms have been on the hunt for a reason why, and seem to agree that consumers are waiting for….. Windows 8?
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.
International Data Corporation is forecasting a 4 percent year-over-year growth rate for the worldwide mobile phone market in 2012, which would be the lowest it's been since 2009. Why the slow growth compared to previous years? IDC says it's because of the decline in feature phone shipments, as owners of older devices cling to their phones, which serve them just fine for talking and texting. Meanwhile, smartphone shipments will pick up some of the slack and are forecast to grow 38.8 percent year-over-year to 686 million units in 2012, at precisely the time Android peaks in terms of market share.
Well, well, well, the latest version of the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Semiconductor Applications Forecaster (SAF) is something that PC doomsayers can shove right in their ill-informed pie holes. According to IDC, the worldwide semiconductor market grew by 3.7 percent in 2011 to $301 billion, and barring any unforeseen events, IDC expects the market to grow another 6-7 percent in 2012 with Intel leading the way. That's hardly the sign of a shrinking market, though mobile is playing a big role as well.
Lest there be any doubt about how we feel about the so-called post PC era, Maximum PC Deputy Editor, Gordon Mah Ung, set the record straight several months ago. At the time, he (rightly) pointed out that traditional PCs (read: not iPads) still sell, a point that many pundits choose to ignore. Plain and simple, the numbers don't lie, and according to International Data Corporation (IDC), the PC market has once again returned to positive growth.
You can't walk down the street without noticing at least one person wielding a smartphone, and in more busy areas such as airports or even on the bus, you're likely to spot bipeds bouncing their fingers on a tablet. Connected devices are everywhere, and according to data released by International Data Corporation (IDC), shipments of smart connected devices, including PCs, media tables, and smartphones, topped 916 million units with revenues of more than $489 billion in 2011. By 2016, IDC expects shipments to reach 1.84 billion units, along with a changing of the guard.
Apple CEO Tim Cook can talk all he wants about the post-PC era, we're not buying it. Neither is International Data Corporation (IDC), which today said it expects worldwide PC shipments to pick up steam as the year goes on and have a strong second half of 2012. The first half of the year will only see "modest growth," but between the launch of Windows 8 and excitement generated by Ultrabooks and other ultra-thin notebooks, IDC expects second half sales to be much stronger.