Thursday, April 11, 2013

PC Sales Tumble

PC sales are down. Depending on who you believe, unit sales are down 10 or 15 percent from a year ago. Hewlett-Packard, by some measures the largest manufacturer, saw sales decline 25 percent from an anomalous period a year ago. High-profile product releases at the end of last year had more impact than I gave them at the time, but they were still only enough to slow the decline for a moment.

It is not that people have stopped using PCs, but the replacement cycle is shifting, from around 2 years to probably beyond 10 years. With a slower replacement cycle there is a shift in attitude about new technology, in which people studiously avoid being too far ahead of the curve. This will result in an industry that looks quite different from the one we remember from five years ago, when people were more concerned about the risk of being left behind as technology shifted.