PC Sales to Continue Downward Spiral in 2013: Study

Dennis Faas's picture

New reports indicate that the rate at which consumers are flocking to mobile computing devices -- including smartphones and tablet computers -- could threaten the PC market.

According to recent consumer polls, people are increasingly using mobile devices for their Internet browsing. More specifically, 27 per cent of tablet owners admit to using their PCs far less for online browsing, while 20 per cent said that their PCs are being used less often for accessing Facebook.

Furthermore, 27 per cent of smartphone owners claimed they use their PCs far less regularly for both Internet access and Facebook activities.

Reports indicate that it is not just mobile devices diverting attention from the PC. It is estimated that 21 per cent of consumers now have an Internet-connected television in their home. Many of these people are switching from their computer to their television in order to watch videos from streaming services like Hulu and Netflix. (Source: eweek.com)

Migration to Mobile Devices at "Warp Speed"

John Buffone, of market research company NPD Group, admits that he is not shocked by the diminishing role of the standard PC. However, he does say he's surprised to see that "when it comes to consumer entertainment, there is a migration (to mobile devices) at warp speed."

This "warp speed" transition to mobile devices is not expected to slow down in 2013. That's because new mobile devices equipped with screen-sharing technologies -- like AllShare and Miracast, which allow people to connect their mobile devices to their television screens with ease -- will be hitting stores this year.

Entertainment to Go Mobile, Administrative Tasks Stay PC

Nevertheless, many personal computer users believe that transition away from PCs and towards mobile devices will take decades to accomplish.

Yes, smartphone- and tablet-based Internet browsing is on the rise, but statistics show that such browsing continues to be done on PCs, most of the time. The same can be said when it comes to carrying out Facebook activities. (Source: computerworld.com)

"There are just too many households that have personal computers" Buffone said. His beliefs are supported by NPD data that suggests an average Internet-connected household has 2.4 working personal computers versus 1.4 tablets.

It is for this reason that many analysts now believe that the modern family will shift all of their entertainment consumption activities to a smartphone or tablet and maintain their administrative tasks on a shared PC.

Given that picture, it's no wonder that PC sales are expected to slump further than ever before as 2013 progresses.

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