Analysts blame the PC sales slump on Windows 8’s failure. They would do better looking at Apple’s success.
IDC says PC Shipments the Steepest Decline Ever in a Single Quarter. The analyst says unit sales fell 14 percent compared with a year earlier.
Gartner has different numbers: Worldwide PC Shipments in the First Quarter of 2013 Drop to Lowest Levels Since Second Quarter of 2009. It says year on year sales declined 11 percent. It is the first time since the second quarter of 2009 worldwide PC sales fell below 80 million.
When these numbers were release analysts and pundits were quick to blame Microsoft. IDC’s press release quotes a senior executive:
“At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market”
That’s one explanation. But what’s clear from both reports is the demand for PCs is falling and there’s no sight of recovery. The PC era is over.
Windows 8, cause or effect?
Windows 8 is Microsoft’s reaction to the end of the PC era, not the cause of it. It also happens to be awful.
The real reason for the PC’s decline is soaring tablet sales. ABI research estimates tablet sales will hit 150 million in 2013.
Apple is the leading tablet maker. Its iPad started the modern tablet market in 2010 and it still dominates sales. Last year Apple’s tablet market share was 60 percent.
Apple offers a mature and full suite of personal devices: phones, tablets, laptops and desktops. It supports this with all the hardware, software and services needed to make these devices be productive and easy to use.
The story of falling PC sales is not about Microsoft’s failure, it is about Apple’s success. After years of struggle, Apple has won a stunning victory.