Apple on Wednesday unveiled its new iPad, a sleek slate with a stunning 2,048 x 1,536-pixel Retina Display, a speedy Apple A5X processor and embedded 4G LTE. The Cupertino, California-based company repeatedly tossed around its “post-PC” buzzword — Apple’s post-PC devices accounted for 76% of its revenue in the fourth quarter last year — and there is no question that the new iPad will be a hit. Does it spell the end for PCs, however? Not according to market research firm Gartner. Read on for more. More →
Sales of notebook computers during the back-to-school rush this year beat expectations, new data from market research firm NPD Group found. While sales of Windows laptops continued to slide compared to last year, the decline was significantly less severe than in the first half of the year according to NPD. Windows notebook sales between July and August dipped 4% compared to the same period in 2010, while sales in the first half of 2011 were down 12% year-over-year. “The sequential results from NPD’s back-to-school point-of-sale (POS) data indicates that after a shortfall early in the year that was mostly related to the difficult comparisons to the binge of buying after the release of Windows 7, the Windows notebook market remains solid,” said NPD vice president of industry analysis Stephen Baker in a statement. “The last two weeks of August are the most important period for back to school buying, and those weeks saw more than an 8 percent increase over last year in retail sales.” NPD’s full press release follows below. More →
Apple was the world’s top PC vendor last quarter, having shipped 13.6 million “personal computers” according to market research firm DisplaySearch. The firm includes both Mac computers and iPad tablets in its figures however, whereas most similar reports do not include tablet computers powered by mobile operating systems in the general PC category. Including the iPad, DisplaySearch says that Apple shipped nearly 4 million more PCs than second-ranked HP, which shipped 9.7 million computers in the second quarter. Dell found itself in the No. 3 spot with 7.5 million units shipped, Acer was No. 4 with 7 million units and Lenovo rounded out the top-5 with 4.8 million PCs shipped. Overall, the firm found that PC market growth continued to slow in the second quarter. “Preliminary results show a second consecutive quarter of Y/Y shipment growth rate decline,” said Richard Shim, Senior Analyst for DisplaySearch, in a statement. “While part of the Y/Y decline can be attributed to a strong first half of 2010, the rising tablet PC shipment growth rate begins to point to notebook PC shipment cannibalization.” DisplaySearch’s full press release follows below. More →
Taiwan-based Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute expects roughly 360 million combined personal computers and media tablets to ship in 2011, Taiwan Economic News reports. MIC sees PC shipments growing 6.6% over 2010 to land at more than 320 million units this year, and it thinks shipments of media tablets like Apple’s iPad 2ill w exceed 48 million units in 2011, up 198% from 2010. MIC senior industry analyst Chris Wei notes that the improving global economy and replacement PC purchases in the enterprise market would be largely responsible for this year’s growth. Needham & Company analyst Charlie Wolf recently estimated that Apple would ship 30 million iPad tablets in 2011, but the company will likely far exceed that figure if tablet shipments are indeed to surpass 48 million units as MIC predicts. More →
Market research firm Gartner on Wednesday said that growth of PC sales would slow to 9.3% in 2011 as consumers reduce spending and hold onto their PCs longer. Gartner had previously projected that PC sales would grow 10.5% this year. Beyond belt tightening, Gartner notes that the slowed PC growth is due in part to strong sales of Apple’s iPad line and other tablets. The issue is not that tablets are replacing personal computers, however, as Gartner says these media tablets have just caused consumers to delay new PC purchases. “Consumer mobile PCs are no longer driving growth, because of sharply declining consumer interest in mini-notebooks,” said Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal in a statement. “Mini-notebook shipments have noticeably contracted over the last several quarters, and this has substantially reduced overall mobile PC unit growth. Media tablets, such as the iPad, have also impacted mobile growth, but more because they have caused consumers to delay new mobile PC purchases rather than directly replacing aging mobile PCs with media tablets. We believe direct substitution of media tablets for mobile PCs will be minimal.” Gartner’s full press release follows below. More →
Shares of Acer stock were down nearly 7% on the Taiwan Stock Exchange Tuesday on news that the PC manufacturer had unexpectedly and significantly lowered it’s first-quarter sales estimates. The PC maker had previously estimated its first-quarter PC sales would grow 3% from the previous quarter. Now, Acer has adjusted its forecast, saying it expects sales to drop 10% compared to the prior quarter. Asustek, an Acer competitor, is also struggling with similar sales declines in the first quarter. Acer cites weakened demand in the U.S. and Western Europe for the drop off in sales. The emerging tablet market lead by Apple’s iPad and iPad 2 devices is also seen as largely contributing to the decline in PC sales. Acer expects its net profit margin to drop below 2% in the first quarter from 2.93% in the previous quarter, though it predicts that second-quarter PC shipments will reverse the downward trend, growing by 10% over first-quarter sales. More →
Just in case the current economic climate didn’t tip you off, Gartner has issued new predictions for PC sales in 2009 and things don’t look good. You don’t say? According to the firm, the PC market is in for its sharpest decline ever in 2009 with sales expected to drop a massive 11.9 percent. Should Gartner’s prediction be accurate, the PC business is in for a decline nearly three times its current record slide of 3.2 percent in 2001. Insights from George Shiffler, research director at Gartner:
The PC industry is facing extraordinary conditions as the global economy continues to weaken, users stretch PC lifetimes and PC suppliers grow increasingly cautious.
The firm sees laptop sales rising around 9 percent year-over-year in 2009 while progress in the portable department is offset, and then some, by a steep 32 percent drop off in desktop sales. Gartner also predicts a 10.4 percent sales decline in emerging markets which saw an 11.1 percent growth in its prior worst year, 2002. Long story short, 2008 was bleak and 2009 is shaping up to be even worse.