The personal computer market is in a crisis as sales have declined steeply for the first quarter of this year. International Data Corp says that for the first three months of this year sales have declined by as much as 14 percent. This data includes desktop and laptop sales and is the worst decline ever recorded since the research firm began tracking the market in 1984. For the last three months of this year only 76.3 million units were sold worldwide.
While PC shipments have been dropping year after year the forecasted drop for this quarter was only 7.7%. No one expected it to be twice the estimate. There are various reasons why this has happened such as the booming sales of tablets and smartphones. One primary reason most experts agree on is the introduction of Windows 8, Microsoft’s latest operating system.
The IDC said that the radical change in the user interface of Windows 8 worsened the sales of PC’s. According to analyst Bob O’Donnell, “While some consumers appreciate the new form factors and touch capabilities of Windows 8, the radical changes to the [user interface], removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices.”
Most PC users are not receptive to the new Windows 8 UI and the primary reason for this is its touch based feature. Older desktop or laptops do not support this feature while getting newer models that can support this feature still costs a considerable amount of money. If consumers want the touchscreen experience then they can easily choose tablets that cost far less.
Among the manufacturers that are hit by this decline are HP, Dell, Asustek and Acer. HP recorded a 24 percent decline in PC sales but is still the number one global PC supplier. Dell, Acer and Asustek have also recorded double digit decline in sales. Even Apple isn’t immune to this as they reported a 7.5% decline of sales in the US for their Macs.