"The transition from PCs to tablets has faded..." - Gartner
People are fickle creatures, and if you need proof of this, just turn your attention to the technology sector. Remember when netbooks were red hot? You couldn't go more than a couple of days without seeing a new netbook announcement. They've since disappeared (and arguably returned in the form of Chromebooks), and now tablets are the hot item. Or, they used to be. According to Gartner, the tablet market is showing signs of saturation, causing consumers to fall in love with traditional PCs all over again.
Reading through International Data Corporation's (IDC) latest report on PC shipments is like slapping yourself in the face to kill a blood sucking mosquito -- you're not sure whether to be relieved or pained. More to the point, IDC's roller-coaster examination starts with adjusting its forecast. IDC now expects worldwide PC shipments to decline by 3.7 percent in 2014 (bummer!), though that's an improvement from its previous forecast of a 6 percent drop (hooray!).
Earlier in the week, Gartner predicted a "revival" of the global PC market in 2014, and hot on the heels of that prediction, market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) reports that worldwide PC shipments totaled 74.4 million units in the second quarter of 2014. That represents a soft year-on-year decline of 1.7 percent, though that's "markedly better" than IDC's projected decline of 7.1 percent, the company said.
There's reason to believe PC demand will pick up in the next several months
We've heard the gloom and doom predictions time and again by market research firms, but more recently, there's been a bit of optimism from several corners of the web. Research firms have thrown around the term "rebound" in regards to upcoming PC shipments, and evidently players that make up part of the PC's upstream supply chain are seeing things that are making them optimistic about the second half of the year.
Lenovo expanded its position as the No. 1 PC supplier in the world
The good times keep rolling for Lenovo, the company that continues to defy the odds with record growth. This time, Lenovo posted revenue of $38.7 billion for its full fiscal year, up 14 percent compared to a year ago and the highest it's ever been. In fact, Lenovo broke records all around, including pre-tax income of $1.01 billion, up 27 percent year-over-year and record full year earnings of $817 million, up 29 percent.
Users migrating from Windows XP helped offset weak consumer spending in the PC sector
Market research firms agree that worldwide PC shipments declined in the first quarter of 2014, which is the eighth quarter in a row of negative movement. However, there are signs that the market is starting to stabilize. It's a bit of a fuzzy picture at the moment because users migrating from Windows XP could be mucking with the trend line, but the picture should become much clearer by the end of the year.
Gartner predicts a 6.6 percent decline in traditional PC shipments next year
There's no denying there's been a shift in the mainstream PC market. People who are primarily interested in surfing the web and sending emails no longer need a desktop to get the job done -- tablets and even smartphones are sufficient tools for basic connectivity. Knowing that, it's hardly surprising for Gartner to forecast a 6.6 percent decline in traditional PC shipments in 2014, but before diehard desktop and laptop fans throw their hands up in defeat, let's look at the bigger picture.
Fourth successive quarter of year-on-year shipment declines
Global PC shipments hit a new low in the first quarter of 2013, falling 13.9 percent from the same quarter a year ago. This is according to market research firm IDC, which is calling it the steepest year-on-year quarterly decline in PC shipments since it got into this whole business of tracking PC sales.
Slumping PC sales didn't stop Lenovo from shipping 14.1 million computers last quarter.
Have you heard the one about the post-PC era? Of course you have, probably a thousand times by now because of all the attention being paid to tablets and smartphones, and the uncertainty surrounding Microsoft's touch-friendly Windows 8 platform. But don't believe anyone who tells you the sky is falling -- including Apple CEO Tim Cook, who justified the launch of a $799 128GB iPad by saying people would rather play on his tablet "than their old "PCs" -- because Lenovo is proving there's still a significant market for computers.
It’s been a slow build over the last several years, but for the first time ever, NPD is reporting that tablet displays are shipping in greater quantities than those destined for notebooks. This doesn’t mean notebook computers are dead by any stretch of the imagination, but it does bring to light an interesting trend that is only likely to accelerate.