Gartner, IDC: PC shipments tanked last quarter

Here comes more doom and gloom from PC market watchers. This time, the folks at CNet News have compiled Q1 2013 PC shipment figures from both Gartner and IDC, and they say the situation is "the worst it has ever been."


Reportedly, Gartner estimates that PC shipments have fallen by 11% since the first quarter of 2012, and IDC pegs the shrinkage at 14%—almost twice as bad as that firm's original forecast, which was a 7.7% decrease. Both research firms say shipments declined across all geographical regions, too. That's particularly worrying, since we often see healthier growth in emerging markets than in regions like North America.

Windows 8 was no great help, either. Far from breathing life back into the PC market, the new operating system may have actually made things worse. CNet News quotes IDC analyst Bob O'Donnell, who noted, "While some consumers appreciate the new form factors and touch capabilities of Windows 8, the radical changes to the [user interface], removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices."

Yeah, that just plain stinks. CNet News' story doesn't include forecasts for the rest of the year, but I would hope there are enough new products on the way to spur a rebound. Before the end of the year, we should see Haswell- and Kabini-powered notebooks, Bay Trail- and Temash-powered tablets, and of course Windows Blue, which could be released to manufacturing as early as August. If those things don't pry folks away from their smartphones and iPads, I don't know what will.

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