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PC shipments drop again

Graeme Parton

Conventional desktop computer sales have dropped to their lowest in five years, recently-released data from research group Gartner has  revealed.

According to the figures, between June and August just over 80 million PCs were shipped in total, a drop of 8.6 per cent from 2012. This also represents the sixth quarter in a row that sales have decreased.

The advancements made in the mobile device market are thought to be among the reasons for the consistent decline in PC sales, with Gartner also citing an increase in accessibility. One of the researchers said:

“Consumers’ shift from PCs to tablets for daily content consumption continued to decrease the installed base of PCs both in mature as well as in emerging markets.

“A greater availability of inexpensive Android tablets attracted first-time consumers in emerging markets, and as supplementary devices in mature markets.”

Another research company, IDC, used a different calculation method before claiming that international orders had dropped by around 7.6 per cent to 81.6 million units in the same period.

Despite saying in July that it was hoping for a slight improvement towards the end of 2013, IDC suggested that the decline would now continue for the foreseeable future.

The firm’s Worldwide PC Trackers vice president, Loren Loverde, explained that the figures come down to the fact that people are no longer prioritising PC replacements and are instead focusing on smartphones and tablets.

Loverde went on to say:

“The third quarter was pretty close to forecast, which unfortunately doesn’t reflect much improvement in the PC market, or potential for near-term growth.”

The news only further highlights the importance of producing content optimised for smaller screens. While it’s important not to ignore the conventional desktop market altogether, there’s little doubt that consumers are now relying on mobile devices to meet their day-to-day web needs.

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

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