Analyst fears PC sales may decline 'for years to come'

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Earlier this year, some analysts estimated that despite the transition to a ?post-PC world,? the personal computer industrywould continue to grow. Recent reports have revealed that worldwide PC shipments are set to decline in 2012 for the first time in 11 years, however, as more consumers turn towards tablets and smartphones. While some have pegged Windows 8 as the industry?s savior, Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes fears that PC sales could decline ?for years to come? and has lowered his estimates for 2012 all the way until 2016.

?We are lowering our 2012-2016 PC forecasts due to weak macro conditions, confusion around Windows 8, ongoing cannibalization from tablets, and an elongation in replacement cycles,? Reitzes wrote in a research note obtained by Forbes.

The analyst estimates a 6% year-over-year decline for the PC industry in fourth quarter and a year-over-year decline of 3% on the year. He expects the market to continue its fall in 2013, dropping another 4%, ?as the consumer market remains weak and the tablet and smartphone markets continue to cannibalize the PC market; the iPad mini, new iPad and the iPhone 5 could continue to take wallet share.?

Reitzes isn?t a big fan of Microsoft?s (MSFT) latest operating system, and notes that ?Windows 8 and ultrabooks are creating confusion within the PC ecosystem, which has hampered execution and worsened the downturn.? The analyst also revealed that enthusiasm for corporate tablet adoption is growing, which is ?a worrisome trend for the PC industry, especially HP and Dell.?


This is majorly bad news for MS in general :/

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Have the last 5 years of advancements in desktop PC hardware given anything to users?


The vast majority of technology enhancement has been in form factor and efficiency. Everything will get better, but no one will care except in those platforms that are currently performance constrained. Laptops hit a stride a year or two ago, power-wise, and are now playing form-factor games (Ultrabooks). Tablets are hitting the maximum practical power for their form factor (For today).

At this point, hardware gains are primarily about power savings, I think.

Users basically have no need for all the extra raw processing power that hardware is giving them.

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Noir Angel

I don't think I'd agree with that. We have solid state drives, which boost the responsiveness of gaming and OS drives quite significantly, and my i7-2700k is 2-4x faster than my old CPU a Q6600 (depending on application), and it's transistors are half the size (despite being released just 4 years after the Q6600). Not everyone's usage patterns take advantage of that fact, but over the past 8 years the power of computer components has been increasing significantly.

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Perfectly logical -- novelty of computers has worn off, not greatly useful to many people, and bad economic conditions.

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While some have pegged Windows 8 as the industry?s savior, Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes fears that PC sales could decline ?for years to come? and has lowered his estimates for 2012 all the way until 2016

I don't see anything saving the traditional PC. Mobile is the future.

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The King of GnG

I don't see anything saving the traditional PC. Mobile is the future.

I won't purchase a new smartphone for 5 years (I'm perfectly fine with Windows Phone 7), but I'll need a new desktop PC asap (and maybe a new laptop/convertible with large screen). Yes, mobile gadgets are the future...

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Does this just apply to prebuilt machines?

Because businesses like PCSpecialist are booming, as are places that sell individual components. Perhaps manufacturers should stop selling the garbage that they are at the moment and actually make logical specifications.

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