PC Sales Set to Decline For Years, Analyst Warns

It's already a known fact that the PC industry is set to experience its first decline in over a decade due to emerging technologies, but an analyst has warned that the decline will continue for several years to come.

Barclays Capital's hardware analyst Ben Reitzes, who decreased his outlook for the division through 2016, warned that sales of "PCs could decline for many years to come". He blamed several factors for the expected decline such as increased interest in tablets, as well as confusion over Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system.

"We are lowering our 2012-2016 PC forecasts due to weak macro conditions, confusion around Windows 8, ongoing cannibalization from tablets, and an elongation in replacement cycles," Reitzes said in a research note. He blamed the PC industry for not recognizing and adapting to consumers' interest moving towards mobile devices.

We believe a new generation of consumers and IT workers are figuring out how to compute differently than those that started using PC's in the 90's - relying more on mobile devices and the cloud - as PC's see significant "task infringement" by the day. As a result, it can no longer be assumed that the PC market can remain in the range of 350 million units a year - and we argue that the PC replacement cycle is in the process of being elongated by 1-2 years, resulting in the loss of 50-100 million units in annualized demand by 2015. After years of denial, most PC industry players still don't seem to realize what is happening - and don't have contingency plans.

Reitzes' 2012 forecast for PC units sold decreased to 352.75 million units, represent a 3 percent slip. His 2013 prediction stands at 338.34 million, a 4 percent decline from his previous forecast on sales figures for the ailing PC division.

Estimates for the tablet market, meanwhile, increased. 182 million units are expected to be sold in 2013, which was previously 146 million. In 2014, Reitzes increased his 139 million estimate to 230 million.

The analyst expects Apple to dictate the majority of the tablet market, at least through 2016. He stated that Google, Samsung and Amazon "have the ability to expand the non-Apple market quite a bit and we believe these 3 companies can sustain 30-40% share of the market (combined) over the longer term."

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  • cats_Paw
    They have been wrong before, and PC market is still turning good profits. Nothing important really.
  • thecolorblue
    PC Sales Set to Decline For Years, 'Some Guy' Warns

    /fixed the title for you
  • Is that what they want us to believe?
  • memadmax
    Decline thanks to win8....
  • lockhrt999
    This analysis is false.

    These analysts don't know a thing. They take numbers from companies like HP, Dell etc for analysis. Thanks to weird pricing, branded computers costs similar or sometimes even more than their laptop equivalent. Basic i5 laptop costs 600$ where I live and if you're going for a PC then you get i3 based PC in same money.

    These days people have grown a little intellect and they have started building their own rigs as opposed to buy branded ones and these so called analysts don't count custom built rigs.
  • assasin32
    They been saying this for years. And I've been saying this for years, there is no point for most people to upgrade when a low end machine made 6 years ago is still chugging along perfectly fine, especially if you keep the crapware off it (and every program from auto booting).

    In fact I don't think my family members would notice if I rebuilt the old computer in the living room, unless I decided to throw in a SSD. Than they might notice due a difference during boot up and thats it.
  • friskiest
    They're are absolutely right on that PC (the desktop/laptop class) sales has been in a decline, the statistics and sales report proves that.

    What they didn't mention or probably realized is that PCs is simply getting set aside on task that it does best,. productivity and content creation, whereas before it serves a much broader function until the introduction of tablets and smartphones.

    The PC is here to stay- even in the extreme case of being a niche product.

  • junnyeen
    Do you just Google "analyst" and "Apple" on the Google News section for a scoop, Zak?
  • This from the same company that:

    1.) Lost billions in a housing crash/credit freeze that was predicted by several dozen major economists, and,

    2.) Just recently got busted for trying to manipulate numbers to cover up losses from number 1.)

    Why do we care what liars say?
  • StormOfRazors
    The PC is definitely not dying, there are less sales probably due to multiple reasons, only 1 of which is the introduction of tablets/smartphones etc. For example, A PC that was built 6 years ago is still good for most office applications, email and web surfing at decent speeds, and people see no need to upgrade it.

    This is in contrast to PC's built before and in the early 2000's, where they would be considered too underpowered and slow to do these functions nowadays and hence require upgrading.

    And this isn't even mentioning factors such as the GFC/unemployment that would have impacted sales....