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PCs losing favour as tablet sales rise

Graeme Parton

The worldwide sales of PCs, or personal computers, have been falling for five consecutive quarters, representing the longest decline in computing history.

According to research company Gartner, in the second quarter of this year, global PC shipments were at 76 million units – a 10.9% decrease on the respective sales figure from 2012.

With smartphones and tablets becoming more powerful with each model released, the gap between handheld devices and full-scale PCs has undoubtedly shortened. This is thought to be one of the main reasons for the decline.

Speaking about the increasing accessibility of tablets, Gartner’s principal analyst, Mikako Kitagawa said:

“In emerging markets, inexpensive tablets have become the first computing device for many people, who at best are deferring the purchase of a PC.”

While it uses slightly different calculation methods, IDC, another research company, also claimed a decline in worldwide PC sales, but this time of 11.4%. It said that 75.6 million units were sold in 2013’s second quarter. IDC is, however, expecting growth.

One of the firm’s senior analysts, Jay Chou, said:

“With second quarter growth so close to forecast, we are still looking for some improvement in growth during the second half of the year.

“While efforts by the PC ecosystem to bring down price points and embrace touch computing should make PCs more attractive, a lot still needs to be done in launching attractive products and addressing competition from devices like tablets.”

Chou makes an interesting point in suggesting that PC manufacturers are trying to embrace touchscreen technology, almost as though they are attempting to emulate the success of tablets.

The rise in popularity in tablet computers and large, powerful smartphones is undeniable. It is for this reason that businesses are required to invest more of their marketing budgets into creating mobile-friendly websites and content.

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

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