Posted by: kurtsh | April 14, 2013

NEWS: Forrester on the illusion of the “Death of the PC”

imageQ: Why does the media keep looking at the ‘supposed’ drop in PC sales… & ignore tablet sales? 

Virtually all articles written on the “shrinking PC” market have ignored a very important fact:  PC tablets driven by Windows (Windows 8 likely) are not included in PC shipment figures as calculated by the industry’s benchmarking firms.

This means that without any tablet sales numbers factored in, any Windows-based tablet is considered a ‘loss’ to PC sales.

Tablets are being broadly generalized by most of these metrics firms, and as a result low-to-mid range products like those listed below aren’t likely factored into PC sales:

  • Surface RT/Surface Pro
  • HP ElitePad/HP EliteBook
  • Dell Latitude 10/Dell XPS 10
  • Acer Iconia Tab W510/710
  • Asus Vivo Tab/Transformer Book TX300CA
  • Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2/Helix

…in fact, very few, if any, of the PCs I’d listed in my ‘Next-gen Windows tablets spreadsheet’ would be included in these numbers. 

The only folks that seem to have caught on to this is Forrester.  In a few blog articles they’ve written their observations, analyzing how the tablet market has blurred and aren’t a dividing line between PCs & non-PCs some make it out to be and considering the category as such is inaccurate.  They also debunk the declaration that the PC market has crashed by citing the lack of numbers around PC Tablet sales.

Some choice quotes:

  • “This week, the newswires are blazing with the news that PC shipments dropped 14% year-over-year…. But when I look at the fine print, I draw a different conclusion. Note that tablets – including the ones with detachable keyboards – are *not* included in the PC shipments figure.”
  • “We know that the primary investment strategy for Microsoft with Windows 8 is tablets, and so unless the news is accompanied by Windows 8 tablet sales data, any conclusions are meaningless.”
  • “A more accurate assessment: tablets are killing laptop and desktop sales… Apple reported last quarter that they see a lot of cannibalization of Mac sales with iPads, so what’s changing is a shift in spending away from traditional form factors to tablets. And like Ted, I argue that this is temporary.”
  • “Computers don’t go away, they just aren’t replaced as often. There is no post-PC era. There’s only a multi-device, "right tool for the job" era.”

Here’s the original blog posts that are very much worth reading to be more educated than the typical tech new reader:


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