Earlier this year, some analysts estimated that despite the transition to a “post-PC world,” the personal computer industry would continue to grow. Recent reports have revealed that worldwide PC shipments are set to decline in 2012 for the first time in 11 years, however, as more consumers turn towards tablets and smartphones. While some have pegged Windows 8 as the industry’s savior, Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes fears that PC sales could decline “for years to come” and has lowered his estimates for 2012 all the way until 2016.
“We are lowering our 2012-2016 PC forecasts due to weak macro conditions, confusion around Windows 8, ongoing cannibalization from tablets, and an elongation in replacement cycles,” Reitzes wrote in a research note obtained by Forbes.
The analyst estimates a 6% year-over-year decline for the PC industry in fourth quarter and a year-over-year decline of 3% on the year. He expects the market to continue its fall in 2013, dropping another 4%, “as the consumer market remains weak and the tablet and smartphone markets continue to cannibalize the PC market; the iPad mini, new iPad and the iPhone 5 could continue to take wallet share.”
Reitzes isn’t a big fan of Microsoft’s (MSFT) latest operating system, and notes that “Windows 8 and ultrabooks are creating confusion within the PC ecosystem, which has hampered execution and worsened the downturn.” The analyst also revealed that enthusiasm for corporate tablet adoption is growing, which is “a worrisome trend for the PC industry, especially HP and Dell.”