PC Shipments See First Decline In 11 Years
October 11, 2012

Global PC Shipments Set To Fall For First Time Since 2001

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Global shipments of personal computers are set to fall for the first time in 11 years, according to a new forecast released Wednesday by research firm IHS iSuppli.

According to the projections, the total PC market is set to fall from 352.8 million units in 2011 to 348.7 million units this year -- a 1.2 percent contraction.

That would be the first drop since the 2001 tech bust, IHS said.

"There was great hope through the first half that 2012 would prove to be a rebound year for the PC market," said IHS analyst Craig Stice.

"Now three-quarters through the year, the usual boost from the back-to-school season appears to be a bust, and both AMD's and Intel's third-quarter outlooks appear to be flat to down."

“Optimism has vanished and turned to doubt, and the industry is now training its sights on 2013 to deliver the hoped-for rebound. All this is setting the PC market up for its first annual decline since the dot-com bust year of 2001,” he said.

Despite the negative 2012 projections, the research firm said a solid adoption of Windows 8 and the growing traction of ultrabook computers could trigger a strong rebound in PC sales in 2013.

“There are signs that a strong rebound could still occur in 2013. While IHS has reduced its forecast for them, the new ultrabooks and other ultrathin notebook computers remain viable products with the potential to redraw the PC landscape,” IHS said.

“The addition of Windows 8 to the mix could prove potent and irresistible to consumers.”

Analysts say smartphones and tablet devices have eclipsed PCs in recent months. Last month, IHS said that global sales of tablet computers are expected to reach 126.6 million units in 2012.

Some analysts predict tablet sales will surpass those of PCs by 2016 or earlier.

"Whether a newly configured PC space could then stand up to the powerful smartphone and tablet markets, however, remains to be seen," IHS said.