Forget Ultrabooks and Win 8 - only fondleslabs can save us now
Western Europe PC space a busted flush, says Context
Only the fondleslab can save the flatlining PC market this year, as sales of traditional platforms continue to flatline – and nothing on the horizon suggests a buying frenzy is likely in the second half of the year.
At least this is the view of top channel bean-counter Context, which tracks distributor output. The analyst coughed numbers for April and May showing sales to consumers and businesses fell 16.6 per cent on average in Western Europe.
"It's going to take a lot to wake up Europe's PC market over the rest of the year," said Context CEO Jeremy Davies. "Ultrabooks, while popular, remain too pricey to spur PC growth, and the jury's still out on Windows 8."
No platform was immune to the downturn: notebooks slid 16.6 per cent; netbooks collapsed 45.7 per cent; desktops dropped 7.2 per cent; and servers and workstations sunk 12.5 per cent and 17.9 per cent respectively.
Only Sweden and Finland recorded any growth in the region – up 19.4 per cent and 7.3 per cent respectively – and Austria recorded the steepest sales drop, falling nearly 32 per cent year-on-year.
The UK fell 5.2 per cent, the smallest drop across any of the countries that reported sinking shipments. Context tells us that here, only server sales grew with all other platforms down.
Davies said: "It seems that consumers simply don't have the finance to continue buying PCs while businesses are still impacted by negative economic news.
"The only bright spot is tablets. Perhaps the novelty factor and delight the user interface brings can stir buyers out of their depression provided pricing is right," he added.
Tablet numbers for Western Europe are not yet available. ®
Yes, the problem is definitely that people aren't buying Brand New Stuff they don't need/ can't afford, and it's absolutely definitely not down to a financial model that assumes that hardware sales can consistently grow regardless of financial conditions.
I can't help but wonder if analysis of those companies selling both hardware and decent after-sales support services have prospects quite as grim as are being suggested here...
There will be an uptake in sales as people buy the remaining Windows 7 PCs to avoid the new Windows 8.
Plus unless you're gaming or rendering 1080p video then you probably aren't interested in buying a new computer to get more speed when you won't use it.
We have 8 year old computers at work that are still being used, they're being replaced slowly but these are development tower machines. The disc speed lets them down, so adding an SSD might speed them up a little.
Vacuum cleaner model
The arguments why no more PCs are needed are similar to those for vacuum cleaners 20 years ago. Everyone has one, they work longer, etc.
The post-saturation era for vacuum cleaners has worked out as selling specialist machines - one for the car, one driven by batteries, and so on (equivalent to, say, ARM processor proliferation?). Also the cyclone technology came along (ssds?). What nobody is asking for are gold-plated Wintel machines.
Re: The problem with Fondleslabs (of all types) is
- No copies of norton etc
Surely, this is not a problem? Last "Norton" that was actually useful was "Norton Commander", everything else after that has been a steaming pile of shit.