PC sales are taking a hammering with the only company to buck the downtrend being Apple, with local notebook retailer, The Notebook Company, saying iPad sales are still accounting for a significant slice of monthly sales.
The latest figures from Gartner show that the PC market, particularly in the UK, is looking decidedly gloomy.
Gartner’s research, which does not include media tablets in its PC statistics, recently estimated a year-on-year decline of 19.6% in overall fourth quarter PC shipments for 2011.
The UK market was 2 million units down on 2010, dropping back by 16%.
“Tablets certainly have had an impact on PC sales and this is going to continue unabated. Over the years Apple products have always been a tiny part of our revenue, but, during the last two years, Apple sales – primarily via iPads – account for more than 20% of our revenue. And we still see more growth, despite the fact that the economies of the world are still struggling with the hangover affects of the 2009 recession.”
Riley said he believes the decline in PC sales will be “more dramatic” than any analysts are predicting. “We are going to enter into a rapid cycle of decline because there are becoming less and less compelling reasons to buy a PC. Everything is going mobile and this means that the mere thought of a PC sounds as preposterous to some people as a dinosaur walking down a street.”
The recent hike in hard disk prices also had an affect, said Riley, which had an impact on fourth quarter sales – and will impact sales during Q1 2012.
‘”But, in all reality, there hasn’t been such a huge demand for PCs anyway. The market is fairly muted and I don’t really feel that the hard disk prices had such a major role to play. With the continued switch to mobile communications – and the concomitant financial hangover many economies are experiencing – sales attrition in the PC market is an accepted fact now.
“What I find particularly disappointing is that new technology needs to be introduced at schools so that our next generation of workers do not fall behind with regards to a technology-driven business world. I find it strange that schools, for instance, are not taking advantage of bulk buying to source tablets are very reasonable prices. Our sales to the education sector – to schools – is almost non-existent.”
Meanwhile, in the three months to the end of December last year, Apple sales rose to $56.3 billion, generating a staggering $13.1 billion in profit. Sales were buoyed by the sale of 37 million Phones, more than 15 million iPads and 5.2 millon Macs.