The PC industry’s decline isn’t shaping up anytime soon, according to a new report from IDC. In fact, PC unit sales saw the largest decline out of any quarter ever as consumers turn to tablets and smartphones for most of their Internet needs. The industry as a whole shipped a total of 76.3 million PC units during Q1 2013, a 13.9 percent decrease from the first quarter of 2012.
One might expect that the slew of new Windows 8 PCs would have helped boost the industry. Consumers may have been excited about new Windows releases in the past, but that’s not necessarily the case now as tablets satisfy basic needs. Worse, Windows 8 was actually blamed for part of the decline in sales.
“At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market,” said Bob O’Donnell, IDC Program Vice President, Clients and Displays. “While some consumers appreciate the new form factors and touch capabilities of Windows 8, the radical changes to the UI, removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices. Microsoft will have to make some very tough decisions moving forward if it wants to help reinvigorate the PC market.”
The slide can’t be blamed on any particular region, either. Sales slipped in the U.S., EMEA, Japan and the Asia/Pacific. HP recognized a slip in sales but is still the number one PC vendor in the world. Lenovo’s sales remained flat (but jumped in the U.S.), and every other PC maker saw a decline in shipments. Even Apple’s PC shipments dropped off due to increased demand for the company’s iPad.