To PC Or Not PC, That Is The QuestionPeter Reville |
A recent article in the Washington Post “The PC is dead, and this year’s CES proves it” posits that the vast array of new gadgets now available to consumers is making the PC less necessary to the average consumer. While I think the author’s title is somewhat overstated—I think the term “dead” is overkill—the truth is PC sales are in decline. A recent IDC forecast has PC shipments in 2013 falling 10.1 percent versus 2012.
I think there are a host of forces contributing to this decline.
First of all there are tablets and smartphones – the small screens. We all know that sales of these devices are growing rapidly. As we become an increasingly Internet connected world, consumers find themselves using these devices more and more to access the web. These devices are, for the most part, cheaper than a PC and have much of the same functionality. With this said, people are choosing to get one of these devices rather than a second PC. Also, in developing countries, these devices can often be used to take the place of a PC.
Another reason for the decline is that people don’t see the need for upgrading their current computer. Back in the day, we had to upgrade our computers to accommodate a new operating system or memory requirement. That no longer is the case. As pointed out in an article in Slate, the computing power of today’s PC is more than sufficient for you average Joe home user and memory and storage are cheap and easy. Some in the blogosphere are also blaming Microsoft’s Windows 8 debacle as a source of the decline.
In my opinion, the PC is not dead and it still has a utility for consumers. That said, the lines are getting blurred between devices and the need for the latest and greatest PC is declining. Stay tuned I think this story is far from over.