The Windows PC sure looks like it’s dying

“Blame it on lack of innovation. Blame it on the economy. Blame it on the tablet. Whatever one blames it on, PCs are not doing well. Sales of computers were down in the second quarter and the outlook for the rest of 2012 is gloomy. Even the upcoming release of Microsoft Windows 8 is unlikely to shift the wheezing PC business back into gear,” Peter Suciu reports for Fortune.

“Market research firm IDC reported that PC shipments totaled 86.7 million units last quarter, down 0.1% from the year earlier period. This was far below IDC’s projection of 2.1% growth. Gartner also reported the decline in sales, counting approximately 87.5 million units,” Suciu reports. “‘It certainly seems that the industry as a whole is in a slump,’ said Craig Stice, senior principal analyst for compute platforms at IHS iSuppli. ‘Bottom line is still the economic conditions worldwide.'”

Suciu reports, “Another factor in the slowdown of PC sales is the continued growth of do-more tablet computers and smartphones. Counting tablets as PCs actually causes Apple to dethrone Hewlett-Packard from the top PC vendor spot. Boosted by strong demand for its iPad tablet, Apple was the top PC seller worldwide according to the UK-based Canalys, which counts tablets 7-inches or larger as PCs. During the second quarter of 2012 Apple sold 17 million iPads and 4 million Macs. Still, regardless of which company is considered the top vendor, the fact is that the outlook for the rest of the year is likely slowing demand for traditional PCs… In the meantime, as Apple continues to dominate in the tablet space it could see some growth with its desktops and notebooks. Says Bartels, ‘So far Wintel vendors haven’t come up with an alternative.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Can’t happen soon enough.

When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks because that’s what you needed on the farms. Cars became more popular as cities rose, and things like power steering and automatic transmission became popular. PCs are going to be like trucks. They are still going to be around. However, only one out of x people will need them. The move will make many PC veterans uneasy because the PC has taken us a long ways. We like to talk about the post-PC era, but when it really starts to happen, it’s uncomfortable. – Steve Jobs, June 1, 2010

46 Comments

      1. So let me ask your solution, I have music bought before the iTunes store, how do I get this on a tablet if I do not have a machine with a port? Match is of no use since its limit in seize.

        1. Maybe I’m misunderstanding you, Jean;
          I had tons of music from long before I even owned a Mac, never mind before iTunes existed.
          I simply ripped all of my old CDs into iTunes when Itunes came along.
          Is your iPad your only computing device?
          Or does your other computer not have a CD drive with which to rip your older music?
          You state later here, that you have an iPod. I’m going to go out on a limb here and reckon that you’ve plugged both your iPod and your iPad into a computer’s USB port at SOME point.
          No?

    1. The only thing I can imagine being better than USB is if you could somehow beam information into a device over the air from some global network that every computer is already connected to. Oh wait – that’s existed for a while.

          1. Those 12″ floppies were actually only 8″.

            You could punch a hole in the cover (not the floppy) to make them double sided only if they were sold as one-sided, but had the electromagnet coating on both sides.

      1. Ha! That made me laugh out loud. Classy come back, I like it. Seriously, and this is really an honest question, what’s a USB going to give you that would make the iPad a “pc-killer”? (I’ve had an iPad since the day it was released and I haven’t missed having any additional ports.)

    2. No real need for USB. No one wants to connect anything larger then dongle to a tablet. That sort of defeats the purpose of a tablet.
      What would rock would be a micro SD slot. That would allow you to carry around movies and large files without filling the iPads internal memory.

  1. As mobile devices become more powerful/useful, it seems absurd now that we had to wait to home and sit in the pre-defined space we had allocated like a shrine to shoot that email or send that document.

    1. Dude, I’m on my 8th PowerBook/MacBook Pro/Air. I haven’t sat in a “pre-defined space” for well over a decade. While I love my iMac, I can’t even imagine being desktop-only.

      My iPad was a Jobssend.

  2. Interestingly, I just saw on the local news this morning that a survey of parents buying devices for their children for back to school yielded these results: Notebooks – 50% Tablets – 49%.

    The times are certainly changing.

    Would have been interesting to see how many of the notebooks were Macs, and how many of the “tablets” were iPads (I’d imagine at LEAST 75%).

      1. IT dorks are being beaten like $20 hookers at this point. In most companies if they attempt to “put their food down” some executive will cut it off for them. They are running scared and have now come to the eniveatible concluding that their division’s only function is to service the people who actually design, manufacture, sell or service the actual product (you know the people ACTUALLY MAKING THE PRODUCT)
        Speaking of which (IT dorks running scared) I heard a good joke:
        What do you do if a MCSE rings your doorbell?

        Pay him for the Pizza!

  3. ‘PCs are going to be like trucks. They are still going to be around. However, only one out of x people will need them. ‘

    Everyone and his dog has a truck in Valley Center, Ca.

  4. The only possible use I could see for the USB connection is for a DVD player. But you don’t have to have USB. If there was a demand for watching DVDs on an iPhone/iPad, wouldn’t some smart person have already found a way to connect a DVD to an iPhone via the existing port?

  5. sales slump 0.1% before the release of a new version of Windows and this hack calls it the death of the Windows PC? You have got to be kidding. Every gizmo has a sales slump as soon as the new generation product is on the horizon, especially when the market is saturated.

    in addition, the lack of significant innovation from chipmakers makes PC or Mac replacement for many people a low-value proposition. for the vast majority of users, a 2 GHz single-core machine will do all the lightweight tasks that they perform.

  6. The truth is most people past school need only e-mail, internet, photos, video, IM, and their choice of entertainment/media consumption apps. Not that large a number create music, write huge papers or work with spreadsheets.

    The tablet form is well suited to their needs and Apple did a really good job with iOS from the start and it is steadily getting better.

  7. This article demonstrates a problem with American capitalism. Everybody assumes that 0% growth is failure. That’s NOT TRUE if you’re raking in fat profits. I’d be pretty happy to own a company that isn’t growing but that is hugely profitable, wouldn’t you?

    Now, if your sales are actually declining, that could be bad. But that’s not what we’re seeing with Microsoft. (At least not yet.)

    Okay fanboys, let loose the flying Obvious!

  8. I agree with everything Steve says except the part about automatic transmission. I prefer manual in any vehicle, much more fun. Although I don’t deal with traffic on the Boston/Los Angeles level, maybe I’d be whistling a different tune if that were the case.

    1. Since 1973, I have never owned a car with automatic transmission. I never get stuck in the snow, I can drive on ice, and rain has no effect on me. Manual transmission is obedient. I’m in full control of the car, even though I’m not even aware that I’m shifting gears. With manual transmission, driving the car is like wearing a glove. It costs less to buy, it needs fewer repairs, and it gives me better mileage.

      Automatic transmission, on the other hand, makes me feel like a helpless passenger. I make suggestions to the engine, not knowing whether my requests will be granted or denied. I stomp on the accelerator, and there is a frightening delay before the engine kicks in. I can’t downshift for adverse road conditions. Rental cars are almost all automatic, and I find the experience a little terrifying.

      1. I used to have a manual transmission in my car, but after my motorcycle accident (broken leg in 2 places) shifting gears became painful and fatiguing. Turns out I really like the automatic and probably wouldn’t go back.

  9. I’ve looked at Dell laptops and at Apple laptops, and I conclude that people don’t like laptops that look like bathroom scales and prefer laptops that look like cafeteria trays.

  10. I for one am not interested in ringing ‘Death Knells’ for the PC community. I’ve laughed for years at the dumdums in the PC world predicting Apple’s demise. In this case, turnabout is being just as dumdum as they are. Not interested.

    Apple Death Knell Counter @MacObserver

    Of course, that’s not going to stop me from pointing out the detriment of PCs. The sooner the world is rid of Windows PC boxes, the sooner we can end The Computer Stone Age. 😕

  11. iPhones still have some needless awkwardness when it comes to file transfer, so a USB port could be one solution.

    Consider the following: I’m at a friend’s house. We shoot 2 gig worth of videos and photos on my iPhone. How do I get this on HIS machine? A 2 gig e-mail over 3G? Install iTunes and give him my password? (Doesn’t work, his mac is too old.) The old Mac advantage was that it was easier to get real work done.

    1. Does his Mac have Picture Viewer?
      Not good.
      Does it have OS X and Preview.app or GraphicConverter (free) and USB?
      duh.

      Does he have a neighbour with a better Mac? – yes.

      Why do YOU have just an iPhone and no Macbook?
      How OLD is your friend?

      The old Mac advantage was you had no multitasking and the Mac froze if you clicked to close any window while having a process running. or just so, on its own.

      What kinda videos are you shooting?

        1. Ha.

          Consider the following: I’m at a friend’s house. We got no iPhone.
          How do I get on HIS nerves? A 20 sentence monologue via my mouth?
          Install iTunes and give him my password? (Doesn’t work, he doesn’t have a computer.)
          The advantage of old times was that it was easier to spawn rumors.

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