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Tablets are still stealing PC market share

While PC gaming might be going through somewhat of a renaissance at the moment, with Valve gunning hard to create a more contemporary interpretation of it and developers creating some brilliant titles exclusive to the platform, the average PC gamer is doing pretty good. However, it seems everyone that isn't gaming away on their desktop is dumping it for a tablet, as another big chunk of the PC's traditional market share has been lost to the touch screen devices.

In a study from tech research firm Gartner, it shows that the market for PCs has dropped another 8.6 per cent year on year in the last quarter alone, with the blame put squarely on increased use of tablets and smartphones. This is usually a booming period for PC sales too, as students purchase new hardware to head off to university with, but “only” 80 million PCs shipped in the past three months, things don't look so good.

The touch screen devices are even starting to become “PCs” according to Google

However it seems the big manufacturers are still doing well, with Lenovo currently sitting pretty as the world's biggest PC supplier. Dell and HP are similarly doing quite well, despite both of them recently announcing big shake ups in not only their managerial styles, but with their company direction too – Dell looking to privatise and HP gunning for cloud analytics services.

Gartner's Mikako Kitagawa said to GamesIndustry: “Even though 3Q13 shipments were compared with artificially weak 2Q13 because of inventory control for the Windows 8 launch at the time, the 3Q13 results imply the U.S. market may have passed the worst declining stage, which started in 2010. The shrinking installed base of PCs has also passed the steepest decline phase because the structural change has progressed fairly quickly. Tablets will continue to impact the PC market, but the U.S. PC market will see a more moderate decrease rather than a steep decline in the next two years.”

It's thought now that the people who use dekstop and laptop computers, will continue to do so for the most part, as they require them for something that is specifically benefited by the platform.

KitGuru Says: Not too surprising. The average PC user doesn't need a desktop these days and maybe even not much of a laptop if they have their phone for texts and emails. Do “normal” people even use much more than Facebook these days? 

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  1. With Tablets becoming popular with students, the windows ecosystem is being eroded further and further. In fact, students are likely to built powerful Linux desktops due to its developmental capabilities. Others looking into the Mac ecosystem sporting a “Unix” kernel for the other needs such as photo video and audio editing (not that Linux cannot do these but with more refined tools on Mac).

    Android has proven to be more capable and with cheaper hardware, it will lead the pack as it already has. The iPad is iconic in its use for presentation and general media consumption. It is just as capable for school use with the right software that do exists at a small cost. So Windows decline is just going to happen regardless ….

  2. I agree with the above comment, and what KitGuru has to say about if you need a desktop or laptop now, then you’ll continue to use and buy them in the future. Personally, I cannot do my job as a media creator on a tablet. I’m faster, more efficient and more productive on my desktop PC and Macbook Pro. But there is no denying the decline of PCs, but I think it will reach a point where sales cannot decline any more, and it will be a niche tool.