Shipments of PCs declined markedly in the fourth quarter of 2012, a new report has shown.
The popularity of mobile devices has soared in recent years and new figures have offered a clear indication that this trend is having a significant impact on global PC sales.
According to the latest Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker published by the International Data Corporation (IDC) yesterday (January 10th), global shipments of desktop computers slipped to 89.8 million units during the fourth quarter of 2012.
This represents a decline of 6.4 per cent on the figure recorded in the corresponding three-month period in 2011 and is also a markedly lower level than the slip of 4.4 per cent predicted by the IDC.
The body explained that even though the launch of Windows 8 at the start of quarter four heralded a “new stage in the PC industry”, this did little to reverse the recent trend of sluggish demand seen in the market.
As such, PCs have continued to struggle in comparison to more modern alternatives – such as tablets, laptops and smartphones – and the fourth quarter of 2012 marked the first time in over five years that a year-on-year decline has been seen in the PC sector during the festive season.
Research published earlier this week (January 7th) by Deloitte highlighted the fact that other devices are rapidly overtaking PCs in terms of popularity and usage around the world, as global shipments of smartphones are expected to break through the one billion barrier for the first time in 2013.
These handhelds are becoming increasingly affordable, with statistics compiled by Deloitte showing that some 500 million smartphones have been sold for $100 (£62) or less.
David Daoud, research director of IDC’s Quarterly Tracker, indicated that the poor performance was mainly down to the fact people were disappointed by the products on offer from manufacturers.
“Consumers expected all sorts of cool PCs with tablet and touch capabilities. Instead, they mostly saw traditional PCs that feature a new OS – Windows 8 – optimised for touch and tablet with applications and hardware that are not yet able to fully utilise these capabilities,” he added.
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