PC Sales are Likely to Decline for Decades to Come

PC Sales are Likely to Decline for Decades to Come

With the release of tablets, high-powered smartphones, and hybrid “convertible” laptops, it’s no doubt that the PC market is trouble. However, new predictions and information seem to indicate that the PC market is going to be worse off than it initially appeared.

Barclays Capital’s analyst Ben Reitzes, one of the most well-respected hardware analysts at his company, has severely cut his outlook for the sector during the next four years. There are a number of factors involved in his predictions, he indicated, including surging tablet interest and Microsoft 8’s confusing and difficult-to-use interface.

“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 his report, indicated Forbes. “We believe a new generation of consumers and IT workers are figuring out how to compute differently than those that started using PC’s in the 90′s – relying more on mobile devices and the cloud – as PC’s see significant “task infringement” by the day.

As a result, it can no longer be assumed that the PC market can remain in the range of 350 million units a year – and we argue that the PC replacement cycle is in the process of being elongated by 1-2 years, resulting in the loss of 50-100 million units in annualized demand by 2015. After years of denial, most PC industry players still don’t seem to realize what is happening – and don’t have contingency plans.”

Of course, this doesn’t mean people in general are getting out of the Internet market altogether. Tablets are expected to sop up the majority of the lost PC sales. Reitzes also says he expects Apple to control the majority of the market, but companies like Google, Amazon, and Samsung may not be far behind and have the “ability to expand the non-Apple market quite a bit.”

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