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PC Market Shrinks, People Want More Tablets

By - Source: Gartner | B 37 comments

PC manufacturers experienced the first decline in overall PC shipments in the first quarter since the most recent recession.

This time, however, the reason may not be another looming recession, but the simple fact that the netbook is on its way out and PC manufacturers did not respond quickly enough to a changing market environment.

According to Gartner, the overall market lost 1.1% and dropped to 84.3 million shipped PCs in the first quarter of this year. HP and Dell lost slightly, but Acer dropped by 12.2% from 12.4 million PCs to 10.9 million. Lenovo and Toshiba were able to increase their sales by 16.6 and 5.3%, respectively. Gartner indicated that Acer is especially vulnerable as the company is especially dependent on netbook and mini-notebook shipments. It is quite apparent that the iPad has impacted the netbook market, but Gartner said that it is unclear whether this is a short-term or a long-term trend.

In the U.S., Apple gained 18.9% and sold 1.5 million PCs as compared to less than 1.3 million in the quarter one year ago. The only other manufacturer that was able to increase its shipments in the U.S. was Toshiba (+10.9%). The overall PC market contracted by 6.1% to 16.1 million units, according to Gartner. It is quite apparent that Apple has found a way to extend its product line with the iPad, which does not affect its own product sales, but apparently hurts traditional PC vendors.      

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  • 2 Hide
    plum , April 14, 2011 11:31 PM
    This is silly. Who buys prebuilts anymore? damn casuals
  • 1 Hide
    stingstang , April 14, 2011 11:38 PM
    "It is quite apparent that Apple has found a way to extend its product line with the iPad, which does not affect its own product sales, but apparently hurts traditional PC vendors."

    So apple introduced a new iPad, which increased sales somehow? That's crazy talk, Douggy.
  • 0 Hide
    galland , April 14, 2011 11:53 PM
    Apple sells waymore PCs than a year ago, so... how about comparing Intel/AMD Q1 sales? I refrained from buying a Sandy Bridge Intel 1st because of the USB bug and then decided to wait for Z68
  • 1 Hide
    dimamu15 , April 14, 2011 11:55 PM
    what can i say, people are stupid.
    tablets? really? more toys for tech declined errr...
  • -1 Hide
    memadmax , April 15, 2011 12:00 AM
    It would be nice if you could install MacOS on a regular PC ala Windows... that way more people can access this OS and put more work into it...
  • -1 Hide
    K2N hater , April 15, 2011 12:02 AM
    1.1% means nothing. Even though Acer lost a lot of market share we expect them to recover rather quickly as their new tablets are released.
  • 1 Hide
    nforce4max , April 15, 2011 12:15 AM
    Modern tablets are more for casual use or as toys rather than what they were originally for. One such example of what a tablet should be is the compaq tc1100. Not only it can be a pure slate but also docks with a station for desk work.
  • 1 Hide
    schmich , April 15, 2011 12:37 AM
    "but apparently hurts traditional PC vendors"
    I highly doubt people buy an iPad instead of a PC. Just because it's also a computing device doesn't mean it directly affects one another.
  • 2 Hide
    proxy711 , April 15, 2011 12:46 AM
    No thanks, I'll skip this fad like i did magic cards, yoyo's, pogs(sp?) and 3D (for the 3rd or 4th time).

    I guess im a power user. Why use a tablet when i can use a laptop. why use laptop (besides for mobile reasons) when i can use a self built PC?
  • 1 Hide
    kinggraves , April 15, 2011 12:49 AM
    How many of these "tablets r great" opinion pieces is Doug going to write this week? Netbook sales declined slightly, that does NOT indicate that they're going to disappear completely. Everything has it's market, and netbooks are still far superior to tablets in actual productivity.

    Desktops and laptops have lost a lot of ground compared to where they were, however their extra size allows for a lot more hardware, so they will still have a place with gamers and other dedicated people who need the processing power or screen size. Smartphones and tablets, which are just smartphones with larger screens, are good for portable media and web browsing, but the lack of a physical keyboard prevents them from getting serious typing tasks accomplished. Netbooks have lost the sales of browsers and media fans, but they were never really made to handle HD media. You also can't argue with the price, considering netbooks still can hover around 300, whereas tablets hover more around 600.

    The market has diversified, but everything still has it's place. The near future has a lot of tablet/netbook hybrids, which blur the lines between these markets further, but the only thing that's really lost it's market space is portable media players. Smartphones and tablets have indeed made such devices obsolete for any reason other than price.
  • 0 Hide
    teknomedic , April 15, 2011 12:51 AM
    Unfortunately for PC gamers, tablets are all most people need. They're certainly not a replacement for a fully upgraded PC though. What we need to have happen is to get game developers out of this console stagnation their currently in.
  • 1 Hide
    someguynamedmatt , April 15, 2011 12:54 AM
    plumThis is silly. Who buys prebuilts anymore? damn casuals

    Probably over three quarters of the world. Maybe more. The enthusiast market is really a lot smaller than a lot of people make it out to be...
  • 0 Hide
    edilee , April 15, 2011 12:54 AM
    plumThis is silly. Who buys prebuilts anymore? damn casuals

    This is what I was thinking. If they added the custom built PC's these numbers would be very different. People who by pre-builts are not real PC users.
  • 0 Hide
    warmon6 , April 15, 2011 1:06 AM
    gallandApple sells waymore PCs than a year ago, so... how about comparing Intel/AMD Q1 sales? I refrained from buying a Sandy Bridge Intel 1st because of the USB bug and then decided to wait for Z68

    usb bug? Me thinks you need to refresh your mind good person. Usb was never an issue. ;) 

    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/cougar-point-sandy-bridge-sata-error,12108.html
  • 0 Hide
    ZEPd3Z , April 15, 2011 1:38 AM
    Most Games are made with Consoles in mind or console ports anyway. if they want more people to buy or upgrade, Hardware Companies should invest in game Developers with PC games focus if not PC exclusive titles, the investment could cover the income lost due to piracy
    (is there really?), weather a title is legal or not they still need to buy the hardware to run the game anyway.
  • 0 Hide
    eklipz330 , April 15, 2011 2:06 AM
    tablets aren't that bad. theyre small and theyre great for entertainment. if thats what people want that's great.
  • 0 Hide
    HavoCnMe , April 15, 2011 2:36 AM
    plumThis is silly. Who buys prebuilts anymore? damn casuals


    I agree.
  • 1 Hide
    agnickolov , April 15, 2011 4:59 AM
    The finding in the article is really just ridiculous. PC are sold to businesses more than they are to end consumers. So this is more likely to be due to a business trend or occurrence. Shall I point out the Sandy Bridge chipset recall here? I'd have thought the authors at Tom's Hardware understood a bit more about, well, hardware economics perhaps...
  • 0 Hide
    nebun , April 15, 2011 5:10 AM
    people are dumb...they just want to look cool, and give up functionality....i will stick with my desktop and laptop for life
  • 1 Hide
    enforcer22 , April 15, 2011 7:30 AM
    someguynamedmattProbably over three quarters of the world. Maybe more. The enthusiast market is really a lot smaller than a lot of people make it out to be...


    Having a none OEM computer doesn't make you an enthusiast. I built thousands of computers for people for their normal email and web surfing needs that where in the $200 to $400 rang. You likely meant to say the informed people are a lot smaller of the population then most make out. Some people rather save a couple hundred to a few hundred on a computer that doesn't have a crappy dell case or crappy dell software on it. They also might not want to pay $150 for the dell name.
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