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PC shipments drop despite expectations of growth

Despite expectations of growth, worldwide shipments of personal computers has declined in the first quarter of 2011. Several factors can be considered to account for this – disruptions in Japan, increased commodity pricing and competition from tablets.

Analysts are expecting the market to face difficult times in the second quarter of 2011, but to improve in the second half of the year. The growth of the tablet market has been hitting demand for both desktop and portable computers according to research but analysts are also claiming that the PC industry has not helped to keep pace with competition by developing new and exciting products. To the general public, processor clock speed ramps and faster graphics cards don't drive worldwide sales.

Jaw Chou, a senior analyst with research firm International Data Corporation spoke to the Financial Times and said “We’re seeing economic indicators go up, but we see consumers spending money on other items that were neglected during the recession, like cars and other electronics. People just aren’t as enamoured with things like net books as they used to be.”

IDC have said that worldwide shipments declined 3.2 percent in the first quarter, from 83.2 million down to 80.5 million, rather than experiencing a 1.5 per cent growth.

Gartner, the research firm, calculated a 1.1 percent shipment decline in the first quarter, from 85.1 m to 84.2 m, compared with a forecast of 3 percent growth.

Tablet sales, as we would expect, are growing well.

PC shipments have been documented as dropping in Europe, The Middle East, Africa, The US and Japan. Shipments grew in Latin America and Asia, not including Japan.

Chou added “Those of us who are in developed countries are reassessing our priorities, taking a break. There aren’t a lot of things to justify us buying a new PC. In the emerging market, like Brazil and China, things are still pretty promising because people are still looking for their first PC, rather than their third.”

KitGuru says: Tablets the cause of PC sales problems? they certainly aren't helping.

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