Will PC shipments go down for the first time in over a decade?

With the rise of tablets and smartphones in the last few years, lots of prognosticators have been predicting that the PC industry as we know it is on the decline. Today, the research firm IHS claims that its numbers show that worldwide PC shipments will be down in 2012 compared to 2011.

IHS's press release predicts that 348.7 million PC hardware units will ship worldwide in 2012, down 1.2 percent from 2011, when 352.8 million units were shipped. IHS says that if its numbers are correct, it will be the first time since 2001 that PC shipments will be down. 2001 was when the dot-com boom era went bust.

What happened? IHS, which has previously cut its forcast for sales of "Ultrabook" based PC notebooks in 2012, said that a predicted rebound of PC shipments in the first three quarters of the year did not happen, due in part to lower back-to-school sales of PC products.

Now the attention turn to the current fourth quarter of 2012, and the launch of Windows 8 on October 26th. IHS clearly doesn't feel the launch of Microsoft's next PC OS will be enough to stop the overall decline of 2012 PC shipments, but it says it is optimistic that 2013 will be better for the industry, saying, "... the new ultrabooks and other ultrathin notebook computers remain viable products with the potential to redraw the PC landscape, and the addition of Windows 8 to the mix could prove potent and irresistible to consumers."

Source: IHS | Image via IHS

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