Shipments of personal computers have plummeted to stunning new lows. A recent report from Gartner shows that worldwide PC shipments dropped to just 76 million units in the second quarter of 2013. That’s a 10.9 percent drop from this time last year and marks the worst sales drop in the market’s history.
Meanwhile, a different Garner report shows tablet shipments are projected to increase 67.9 percent this quarter — proving that while PCs are struggling, sales of mobile devices are on the rise.
This news may be no surprise, given that tablets have gradually replaced PCs as customers’ preliminary preference, but the rate of PC decline confirms that mobile devices are here to stay.
According to Garner, the sharp decline in PC sales is the result of a change in consumer wants and needs, as well as the changing landscape of mobile device markets and the increased penetration of mobile devices across multiple markets.
In developed markets, PCs have taken a back seat as smartphone owners use their devices to surf the Internet and send emails on the go. In emerging markets, mobile devices have become the top choice for first-time users.
Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, said in a statement that the decrease in PC shipments is clearly linked to the trend of economical tablets displacing lower-end PCs in both mature and developed markets.
Smartphones and tablets may be outselling PCs and outpacing PC shipments, but that doesn’t mean they don’t face challenges themselves, given their increasingly longer life spans. However, given this new data, it appears that mobile devices will continute to displace PCs across all markets.
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