Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



The PC Just Hit a New Low

You've probably heard me proclaim that the PC is dead. It's a storyline The Motley Fool has been following for years, and it's quite a controversial one among Foolish readers. Just for clarification, keep in mind that when we say "dead," we don't mean it literally. Rather, "dead" refers to the PC stepping aside as the primary computing form factor while worldwide shipments contract.

Each quarter, IDC releases its estimates on the smartphone, tablet, and PC markets. Earlier this month, the market researcher blamed Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) Windows 8 as a major factor leading to the unprecedented 14% drop in worldwide unit shipments in the first quarter. IDC typically waits to release its smartphone and tablet estimates until after Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) reports earnings, since the Mac maker saves everyone some trouble by actually disclosing unit volumes (unlike most of its rivals).

With these figures in hand, investors can get a comprehensive look at the overall computing market, which includes all three form factors.

Source: IDC.

When looking at the broader computing market through this lens, the PC as a form factor has just hit a new low. PCs are now just 22% of all computing devices.

Source: IDC.

Invariably, many will argue that it's inappropriate to compare PCs to mobile devices, since PCs are still needed for productivity demands. This argument is only true to a certain extent. Even though PCs are truly needed for productivity, enterprise PC upgrade cycles aren't frequent enough to sustain the entire market.

That's especially true considering how poor Windows 8 is doing in the enterprise. Forrester Research released a report last week that estimates that just 2% of surveyed IT pros are upgrading to Windows 8 from Windows XP, while 69% are opting for Windows 7.

Meanwhile on the global front, many regular consumers in emerging markets can only afford one device for casual computing needs. These consumers are opting for mobile devices instead, which is why Apple and its mobile rivals are increasingly focusing on developing countries. Apple is hitting a ceiling, but fortunately Tim Cook is well aware of this and is about to do something about it.

The PC just hit a new low, but it'll keep heading lower.

It's been a frustrating path for Microsoft investors, who've watched the company fail to capitalize on the incredible growth in mobile over the past decade. However, with the release of its own tablet, along with the widely anticipated Windows 8 operating system, the company is looking to make a splash in this booming market. In a new premium report on Microsoft, a Motley Fool analyst explains that while the opportunity is huge, so are the challenges. The report includes regular updates as key events occur, so make sure to claim a copy of this report now by clicking here.

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On May 03, 2013, at 12:43 AM, techy46 wrote:

    Why do you call a smart phone and tablet a computing device but not a personal computer? If smart phones and tablets are personal computers then the PC's Mobile and growing at amazing rates. The PC's getting smaller and more mobile everyday. Sure glad my Lumia 900 can be my 3rd PC when it's needed.

Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2404127, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/28/2016 1:12:54 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,210.84 -17.46 -0.10%
S&P 500 2,155.62 -4.31 -0.20%
NASD 5,297.92 -7.79 -0.15%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/28/2016 12:57 PM
AAPL $113.64 Up +0.55 +0.49%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
FORR $40.19 Up +0.30 +0.75%
Forrester Research CAPS Rating: **
MSFT $57.87 Down -0.08 -0.14%
Microsoft CAPS Rating: ****