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PC sales take another hit

Graeme Parton

The use of internet-enabled smartphones and tablets is thought to be at an all-time high, with the latest figures from analyst group Gartner showing that the sales of  conventional PCs in Western Europe fell by a staggering 20 percent between April and June this year.

Taiwanese firms Acer and Asus were hit hardest, with sales declines of more than 40 percent. Meike Escherich, Gartner’s head research analyst, put the figures down to the poor consumer response to Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 8, as well as the demise of the netbook, a product which many credit Asus with inventing.

According to the figures, desktop PC sales fell by 12.2 percent in the second quarter. In the professional market, the decline was recorded at 13.5 percent, with a 25.8 percent drop in the consumer market.

Looking at the bigger picture, Gartner claims that in the UK, PC shipments have fallen by more than 25 percent in the last three years, with a notable 13 percent drop compared to the second quarter of 2012.

Escherich did say that while the trend is unlikely to be reversed, the decline may start to slow down a little as the big manufacturers begin to release new machines – particularly laptops – towards the end of 2013.

“We can expect some attractive new PCs in the stores for the fourth quarter of 2013, running Windows 8.1 with thinner form factors and longer battery life enabled by Intel’s Haswell processors.

“These PCs will compete with high-end tablets and will be complemented by a new generation of Intel Atom-based devices that will compete with low-end basic tablets. Although this will not fully compensate for the ongoing PC decline, it does create an opportunity for profit in the midrange and more high-end PC segments.”

Gartner’s figures should make it clear for every business owner that while having a conventional desktop-friendly website is vital, considerable emphasis should be placed on optimising content for mobile consumption.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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