Windows 8 and tablets blamed for PC decline

Posted by Trent Nouveau

The PC market is expected to decline by 1.3% in 2013, buffeted by pressure from iOS and Android tablets, as well as relatively limited adoption of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system.

"Disappointing holiday sales, an underwhelming reception to Windows 8, and continuing economic malaise that further crimped IT budgets marked the face of the market during the second half of 2012, leading to a year-on-year decline of 8.3% in fourth quarter shipments, the most substantial decline recorded for a holiday quarter," confirmed IDC analyst Loren Loverde.

"Although the PC industry had banked on Windows 8 and a more varied and less expensive offering of ultrathin notebooks to revive demand, efforts thus far have been disappointing. A lack of touchscreen components has contributed to a limited supply of touch-enabled Windows 8 models – being out of step with the touch focus of Windows 8, and appearing relatively expensive compared to other options."

According to Loverde, the PC market is still looking for updated models to gain traction and demonstrate sufficient appeal to drive growth in a very competitive market.

Nevertheless, growth in emerging regions has slowed considerably, with IDC tracking "constrained" PC demand as buyers favor other devices for their mobility and convenience features.

"We still don't see tablets (with limited local storage, file system, lesser focus on traditional productivity, etc.) as functional competitors to PCs – but they are winning consumer dollars with mobility and consumer appeal nevertheless," he added.