After years of declines, Gartner expects PC shipments to grow again in 2015. While that's good news for related stocks -- Intel and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), in particular -- a sustainable recovery is unlikely, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.
Gartner's estimates peg PC shipments at 317 million in 2015, up from about 308 million this year. Microsoft's retiring of Windows XP appears to be the catalyst. Gartner predicts that 60 million PCs will be upgraded this year, PC World reports.
Yet, that's not repeatable business. Nor can the industry count on shaking lose more upgraders when so many are taking extraordinary steps to stay with XP, including using patches meant for an embedded edition of the OS to patch known security holes in the PC version.
Meanwhile, tablets are on pace to permanently overtake PCs. Gartner expects tablet shipments to top 321 million next year. up from 207 million in 2013. Yet, that's not entirely bad news for Microsoft. To its credit, the company has diversified into gaming and new hardware, including the convertible Surface Pro 3 -- a tablet that takes aim at the very PC laptops that were once Mr. Softy's bread and butter.
What should investors do with this sudden and possibly short-lived resurgence? Probably nothing. Tim says there's no reason to bet on PC-dependent stocks when virtually all other signs point to the rising influence of mobile devices.