IHS: All-in-one PCs growing faster than desktops

It’s no secret that PC shipments are stagnating. Gartner says last quarter was the "seventh consecutive quarter of flat to single-digit growth" for the PC market, with shipments slumping by 0.1%. Consumers, the firm notes, are shunning PCs and flocking to the latest tablets and smartphones.

That may be true, but according to another set of figures by IHS, at least one segment of the PC market is still seeing rather healthy growth: all-in-one PCs. Yes, believe it or not, IHS expects shipments of those systems to grow by a whopping 20% this year. That’s compared to an anemic 0.2% of expected growth for traditional desktop PCs.

All-in-ones might be more than a passing fad, too. "By 2016," the research firm continues, "shipments [of all-in-ones] will hit an estimated 24.8 million units, equivalent to a five-year compound annual growth rate of nearly 13 percent." Behold:

As you’d expect, Apple’s iMacs may end up accounting for much of that growth. Apple reportedly had a 28% share of all-in-one shipments last year, putting it in the number-one spot ahead of Lenovo, Dell, HP, and Sony.

All-in-ones have been around for quite a while—I’m sure some of us remember the ugly iMac copycats of the late 90s—but I don’t recall ever hearing about them becoming popular. This might be a recent trend, and if so, it’s an interesting one for sure. That said, the real volume lies elsewhere. Even if all-in-ones reach 24.8 million units in 2016, that’s nothing compared to the 132.3 million traditional desktops IHS says will ship in 2012. Also, an earlier report by the firm said notebook shipments would climb from 220.1 million units to 324.9 million units between 2011 and 2015.

Comments closed
    • Imperor
    • 7 years ago

    A mini or nano-ITX based computer slapped to the back of any display is the way to go if you want to be able to upgrade parts separately. All the perks, none of the downsides.

    • jackbomb
    • 7 years ago

    I was in the local computer store with Harold the other day looking for a new printer to replace my cartridges. I overheard some young salesman trying to convince a couple to buy an all-in-one computer. So I took a look at one myself and even thought about buying it for my wife Bernice. Until I saw the price tag. But that got me to thinking. Sure, having a computer all wrapped into one unit is a nice idea, but why spend the extra cash when you can make your own? So today on Handyman Corner, I’m going to make a stylish, high end all-in-one computer system using this old beige tower, Harold’s old computer screen, and of course, the handyman’s secret weapon: duct tape. If you don’t already have a tower, just hang around any office building after five.

    It’s a simple idea, really. You just place the old beige tower behind the monitor, attach the two units together with several rounds of duct tape, and…voila! Sure, you’ll have a strip of duct tape across your screen, but to use an all-in-one is to compromise. At least that’s what Harold used to tell me. Now I call this the 3Mac, because of the amount of 3M duct tape I used building it. Calling it a TriMac may help later on when it’s even more obsolete and you’re trying to sell it to some poor sucker at your next garage sale. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to crunch numbers in style.

    Remember, if the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

    • shaurz
    • 7 years ago

    I’m actually considering going for an AIO as my main work/Linux PC (but not for gaming/Windows). I like the idea of not having another bulky box hanging around. One thing that puts me off is lack of upgradability. If the motherboard form factor and I/O were standardised, you could swap out the motherboard when you want to upgrade. I think the HP Z1 is cool, nice 27″ IPS LED screen, but way too expensive and I don’t need or want NVIDIA Quadro or ECC memory. I will probably wait and see what’s available when Haswell is out.

    • FuturePastNow
    • 7 years ago

    The problem with AIO desktops is that anyone who would be satisfied with one- and I’m thinking of mom and dad, grandma, non-techy students, basically anyone who needs or wants simplicity- would be better off with a laptop. An AIO is just a laptop without the mobility.

      • Kurotetsu
      • 7 years ago

      [quote=”FuturePastNow”<]An AIO is just a laptop without the mobility.[/quote<] Not everyone necessarily needs the mobility, like if you're using the AIO for work (like me) or you're just the type of person that isn't interested in computing on the go. AIOs offer bigger screens and higher resolutions for generally less money than laptops (I use a 23-inch 1920x1080 screen for work, the biggest laptop you can get at that resolution is 17-inches, and thats only for the uber-expensive mobile workstations or power guzzling desktop replacements) while still retaining many of the low-power benefits. They also require less desktop space due to not needing a separate monitor and having everything built in.

        • End User
        • 7 years ago

        +1 At my work our 27″ AIOs with discrete graphics make for excellent workstations (minimal footprint, fantastic display, silent and more than enough GPU/CPU).

        [quote<]I'm thinking of mom and dad, grandma, non-techy students, basically anyone who needs or wants simplicity- would be better off with a laptop.[/quote<] That type of user might be better of with a tablet.

          • Anomymous Gerbil
          • 7 years ago

          Discreet graphics… can you even see them?

            • yogibbear
            • 7 years ago

            No, there’s a secret back entrance

        • Washer
        • 7 years ago

        Laptop + external monitor. Gives you two displays and mobility. That’s how we do it here. Works well.

          • BIF
          • 7 years ago

          Laptop + 2X External Monitor. HP’s newest line of business class laptops has Eyefinity, so I can use two external monitors at the office and three external monitors at home.

          I almost never use the laptop’s screen or keyboard.

          Edit/Clarification: You need a docking station to use more than one external monitor. Worth every penny.

    • dashbarron
    • 7 years ago

    The people have spoken: they want updated power desktops with the latest hardware, like the iMacs.

      • FuturePastNow
      • 7 years ago

      Even Apple doesn’t want Power desktops anymore.

        • End User
        • 7 years ago

        What do you mean?

          • ludi
          • 7 years ago

          He’s punning, of course.

            • FuturePastNow
            • 7 years ago

            Some people have short memories. Apple’s PowerPC era wasn’t *that* long ago.

            • End User
            • 7 years ago

            Ah, now I get it. Clever.

            I have not discussed Power Architecture in ages. I still have my copy of “Inside the PowerPC Revolution” on my living room bookshelf.

            I go back as far as the 68000. A friend of mine still has a working Apple II+.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            cool story bro.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            6 years ago.

    • blastdoor
    • 7 years ago

    Even for enthusiasts, or at least enthusiasts who for some reason have more money than space, I can see an advantage to an all-in-one.

    Say you’ve got a 27″ retina monitor with a pair of thunderbolt ports, some USB 3 ports, etc ports. Even if you do want a big box for expansion purposes, why not add an SSD, RAM, and APU to the 27″ monitor? It gives you some more computing power in a way that is very space-efficient. And if you ever get to a point that the APU is too slow to be useful, just keep using the thing as a monitor.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      I think that AIOs are neat, but up until recently I hated the idea of actually owning one. That’s because up until recently iMacs couldn’t be re-used as spare monitors. Now I get the idea and think it kind of interesting.

    • Arag0n
    • 7 years ago

    It´s normal, and I believe that if AMD finally gets trinity and the successor to a proper level so AIO are cheaper cuz they can have proper gaming with no dedicated GPU (less complexity in the design) so prices go closer to a screen price, desktops will mostly disappear. Still, I think that a surface (or something similar) with dock station may kill the AIO before they ever get good sales.

    • RickyTick
    • 7 years ago

    I think there’s a large segment of society that bought themselves a shiny new desktop somewhere between 2000 and 2009. Now it’s showing some age and they want something new, BUT they’ve come to the realization that they don’t really NEED the computing power of a desktop (or even a laptop). When all you do is light web surfing, facebook, email, look at pictures, and play freecell, you don’t need much more than a tablet, netbook, or ultrabook. I know a lot of Moms and Dads that fall right in the category.

    • jss21382
    • 7 years ago

    Not too surprising, All in ones are all most people need, they’re not worthless like the original iMacs were, with them being essentially stationary laptops or thick lcd screens however you want to look at this, they pretty much meet the needs for most people I know aside from the crew here.

    • Decelerate
    • 7 years ago

    In my opinion that’s a good sign, especially if other manufacturers are smart about it and use mobile parts, like Apple, to reach economies of scale.

    I don’t think an enthusiast’s box shoud be considered the same as grandpa/grandma’s email and photo-sharing machine, who doesn’t need a monolithic mostly-empty tower besides the screen.

    • Mystic-G
    • 7 years ago

    Oh noes!!! A forecast…

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    That does it! PCs are dead!

    Oh wait, I recycled that from yesterday. How About: That does it! Separate monitors are dead 🙁
    P.S. –> If Apple comes out with a 30″ Retina standalone monitor, I may break down and buy it.

      • End User
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]If Apple comes out with a 30" Retina standalone monitor, I may break down and buy it.[/quote<] 5,760x3,600! That is going to be one heck of a display with one heck of a price.

        • BIF
        • 7 years ago

        The upgrade monitor in 5 years will just be a direct input into your visual cortex. The Matrix is real!

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