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PC sales continues the decline of five years

Written by Matti Vähäkainu (Google+) @ 13 Jan 2017 13:04 User comments (18)

PC sales continues the decline of five years The inevitable decline of personal computer, as it was designed, has been documented in recent years. The so-called post PC era, predicted by the likes of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, might not quite yet be here but according to sales statistics the trend is obvious.
The technology and market research companies IDC and Gartner have released their newest figures on PC sales. According to IDC, PC sales dropped 1.2 percent while the latter estimated the decline to be 3.7 percent.

During the last five years the sales has fallen 25 percent, a total of approximately hundred million units.

While sales of traditional PCs has fallen drastically there are some niches that have managed to keep the momentum. One is gaming gear which is selling better than perhaps ever. Most of the PC manufacturers have their own gaming brands that are trying to capitalize in the very competitive market.

There's no telling, though, if the we will hit any kind of plateau yet thanks to gaming or if the decline is going to go on. However, people are most certainly going to use PCs for work for a long time still thanks to their superior performance and other advantages.

The largest PC manufacturer was again Lenovo with 55 million units sold followed by HP, Dell, Apple, and Asus.

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18 user comments

114.1.2017 10:55

Most people don't need traditional PCs anymore. With the introduction of powerful smartphones and tablets, people get their most of the jobs done in these devices. If you have a 2-in-1 like Yoga or Surface, why do you need yet another PC? Oh well, if you are a professional photo/video editor, or a hardcore gamer, you may need a bit more powerful machine, but hey, these hybrids are becoming so powerful day by day, most of us are covered.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 14 Jan 2017 @ 10:56

ASUS G73JW | Intel Core i7-740QM, 1.73GHz | 8GB DDR3 | Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M, 1.5GB | OCZ 120GB SSD + Seagate 500GB Hybrid 7200rpm | 17.3" FHD/3D | Blu-ray Write | Win7Pro64

214.1.2017 13:45

I would lose my mind trying to do anything on a Yoga or Surface, or even most laptops. They are so irritatinly slow it's not even funny to those of us running high end systems.

i7-6700k w/32GB DDR4-4000
2 x Samsung m.2 950's in RAID 0

A $2000 Surface Pro runs like my old Atari 400 compared to my desktop PC. I get no joy whatsoever when I have to use my smartphone or a tablet. :(

*VM's run circles around the Surface Pro as well.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 14 Jan 2017 @ 13:46

314.1.2017 22:33

Originally posted by skeil909:
i7-6700k w/32GB DDR4-4000
2 x Samsung m.2 950's in RAID 0

I would never need this sort of high-end system in my life given the type of the job I do; moreover, desktops became no to me as I mostly travel.
I agree that I would go for a desktop if I would do work from home.

ASUS G73JW | Intel Core i7-740QM, 1.73GHz | 8GB DDR3 | Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M, 1.5GB | OCZ 120GB SSD + Seagate 500GB Hybrid 7200rpm | 17.3" FHD/3D | Blu-ray Write | Win7Pro64

415.1.2017 11:19

People might buy new computers if there was a good reason to do so. As it is, the i5/i7 have been around since 2010 and are still the best thing on the market (hopefully Rizen will force Intel to release something new). nVidia is a bit better, but only because AMD is closer to matching GPU's than they are to matching CPU's...and GPU's are not a reason to buy a new system anyway since you can just upgrade the old.

Then there is the penalty for upgrading...Windows 8 came out in 2012, 5 years ago. The industry has yet to recover.

515.1.2017 22:02

not relly a penalty if you dont like the new os just reinstall your old one. as for the pc slump, it would be fine if intel would come out with a core 9 or 10, that would get sales moving again. i have a core 7 and the reason i haven't upgraded is because there is no real reason too.

if you are doing any video editing or picture editing that can eat up a lot of processing power, in that scenario the faster pc with more cores you have the better it is for you. maybe editing in gimp might not take up alot of pc resources but compressing files in handbrake might.

however they do have to come out with hte technology before people can upgrade their pc's.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 Jan 2017 @ 23:06

617.1.2017 1:36

Originally posted by supersaiyaman:
not relly a penalty if you dont like the new os just reinstall your old one. as for the pc slump, it would be fine if intel would come out with a core 9 or 10, that would get sales moving again. i have a core 7 and the reason i haven't upgraded is because there is no real reason too.

if you are doing any video editing or picture editing that can eat up a lot of processing power, in that scenario the faster pc with more cores you have the better it is for you. maybe editing in gimp might not take up alot of pc resources but compressing files in handbrake might.

however they do have to come out with hte technology before people can upgrade their pc's.
Driver and bios issues are starting to make it tricky to install Windows 7 on new machines, especially laptops...not impossible, but more difficult than it once was...and it was already too hard for 99% of people. When the average person buys a new computer, it stays on whatever OS it came with (unless microsoft tricks them into an automatic upgrade or they pay someone like me to install an older OS that Microsoft doesn't even sell anymore).

717.1.2017 14:11

Originally posted by mukhis:
Most people don't need traditional PCs anymore. With the introduction of powerful smartphones and tablets, people get their most of the jobs done in these devices. If you have a 2-in-1 like Yoga or Surface, why do you need yet another PC? Oh well, if you are a professional photo/video editor, or a hardcore gamer, you may need a bit more powerful machine, but hey, these hybrids are becoming so powerful day by day, most of us are covered.
43, Network Engineer here and indeed a hardcore gamer........That's my reason I'll NEVER let go of a PC.

Sadly, most people would benefit from gaming PCS as they last longer, don't get outdated nearly as quick and are fully useful and functional for many many years past its prime.

Instead, people that actually HAVE THE MONEY to invest in a rig that might last them more than 3 years, often just buy Dell bottom-ofo-the-barrel crap that becomes obsolete inside 2.5-3 years.

818.1.2017 15:12

Originally posted by hearme0:
Instead, people that actually HAVE THE MONEY to invest in a rig that might last them more than 3 years, often just buy Dell bottom-ofo-the-barrel crap that becomes obsolete inside 2.5-3 years.
Except, they don't get outdated that fast. A 10-year old econo-box still does Word, Excel, and even some basic photoshop just fine, especially with more and more stuff going cloud. If anything, the concern is not that they will become obsolete in 2-3 years, but that hardware will stop working in 5-10 years. At our local makerspace we have probably 20 bottom-end rigs from 10+ years ago...some don't have working USB anymore, the 40-80GB hard drives are dropping like flies, most of the Dells have new capacitors, and good working mice are in short supply but 2GB and a core 2 duo/Pentium D/etc is still enough for AutoCAD, GIMP, OpenOffice, Pronterface, Slic3r, and various other softwares. That's partly because there is only so much that you can make certain types of software require but it is also at least partially because a new computer isn't so much faster than a 10 year old system that you can get away with writing software that wouldn't work on the 10 year old rig; that software would then run too slow even on the new system.

920.1.2017 16:09

Originally posted by mukhis:
Most people don't need traditional PCs anymore. With the introduction of powerful smartphones and tablets, people get their most of the jobs done in these devices. If you have a 2-in-1 like Yoga or Surface, why do you need yet another PC? Oh well, if you are a professional photo/video editor, or a hardcore gamer, you may need a bit more powerful machine, but hey, these hybrids are becoming so powerful day by day, most of us are covered.
Dream on! There are plenty of games a tablet or phone....not even a notebook unless it is a gaming notebook....can touch! AND NEVER WILL BE ABLE TO TOUCH! Let's see anyone play the PC version of games like GTA 6 when it comes out... on a tablet! Not gonna happen! A lot of people may not use PC's but a lot do!

1021.1.2017 22:16

Continuing to emphasize PC sales figures is misunderstanding the market.  What matters is that I'm using an i7 processor running Windows 10.  The shape of the package is irrelevant. Right now, as I type these comments, the only relevant "package" is the dual monitors, ergonomic keyboard, and Bluetooth mouse. It happens to be running through a Surface Book connected to a Surface Dock, so that when I go to work, I can connect the same Surface Book to my docking station at work. It could just as easily be two desktops. The laptop is now just a variation of a desktop.

1122.1.2017 11:42

Originally posted by SoTired:
Continuing to emphasize PC sales figures is misunderstanding the market.  What matters is that I'm using an i7 processor running Windows 10.  The shape of the package is irrelevant. Right now, as I type these comments, the only relevant "package" is the dual monitors, ergonomic keyboard, and Bluetooth mouse. It happens to be running through a Surface Book connected to a Surface Dock, so that when I go to work, I can connect the same Surface Book to my docking station at work. It could just as easily be two desktops. The laptop is now just a variation of a desktop.
Laptops are included in the PC sales figures...I think even Macs are included in "PC" sales numbers. The surface is a laptop...it may be a small laptop that can fold in funny ways but it's still a laptop. In your case, one PC is doing what would have been done by two or more in the past...so you are basically saying your PC consumption has been cut in half. The real issue that is hard to believe but totally real: there are people that no longer have any kind of PC/Mac at all. These people are using phones and tablets. This isn't just bad for the industry that is getting fewer sales, it is bad for these users who are typically also lower income. While tablets and phones are a whole lot more capable than they were a decade ago, they are still far from ideal for tasks like schoolwork, writing resumes, doing research, etc...basically while useless consumption is very easy it can be very problematic to produce anything or better yourself using only a tablet. Even with a BT keyboard, most people will be more productive with pen and paper than with a tablet...I've seen it in action, and that includes people in the 17-20 range that have probably spent more time using tablets than using paper. Heck, I've seen the vast majority of those people pick the tablet on day one and then never use the tablet again for the rest of a semester.

1222.1.2017 20:29

with a tablet you could not for example compress a 4 gig movie using hand break . if you can please correct me but processing a file in hand break takes at lest a day with a core 7 depending on the file.i dont think a tablet could handle that.

especially if we are talking video captured game footage that can take 1 or more days depending on the quality of the original file. 720 p

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Jan 2017 @ 21:56

1322.1.2017 23:47

Originally posted by supersaiyaman:
with a tablet you could not for example compress a 4 gig movie using hand break .

With a core M CPU you cannot, but with an i5/7 CPU, you can. You can even compress a 50 GB movie in a tab. The only problem is it's slower, and the fan may go crazy (which you can reduce by making the encoding process even slower; let's remember encoding is better with "slow" encoding, too fast encoding actually results in jerky videos).
And, it also depends on the video codec you choose. H.264/x264 shouldn't be a problem, but HEVC/x265 can be a challenge. Handbrake still doesn't support the HEVC 10 bit encoding that requires a really powerful CPU.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Jan 2017 @ 7:15

ASUS G73JW | Intel Core i7-740QM, 1.73GHz | 8GB DDR3 | Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M, 1.5GB | OCZ 120GB SSD + Seagate 500GB Hybrid 7200rpm | 17.3" FHD/3D | Blu-ray Write | Win7Pro64

1423.1.2017 21:09

Originally posted by KillerBug:
Originally posted by hearme0:
Instead, people that actually HAVE THE MONEY to invest in a rig that might last them more than 3 years, often just buy Dell bottom-ofo-the-barrel crap that becomes obsolete inside 2.5-3 years.
Except, they don't get outdated that fast. A 10-year old econo-box still does Word, Excel, and even some basic photoshop just fine, especially with more and more stuff going cloud. If anything, the concern is not that they will become obsolete in 2-3 years, but that hardware will stop working in 5-10 years. At our local makerspace we have probably 20 bottom-end rigs from 10+ years ago...some don't have working USB anymore, the 40-80GB hard drives are dropping like flies, most of the Dells have new capacitors, and good working mice are in short supply but 2GB and a core 2 duo/Pentium D/etc is still enough for AutoCAD, GIMP, OpenOffice, Pronterface, Slic3r, and various other softwares. That's partly because there is only so much that you can make certain types of software require but it is also at least partially because a new computer isn't so much faster than a 10 year old system that you can get away with writing software that wouldn't work on the 10 year old rig; that software would then run too slow even on the new system.


Well.........you took my term "obsolete" with definitive seriousness now didn't ya...........but I hear ya.


Term goes both ways in general, meaning outdated and unusable for all practical intents and purposes.

Either way, i'm sure my point was understood by all because it referred to the fact that old ass bottom-of-the-barrel boxes that have 80 gig HDD, mobos w/o usb 2.0 or even 3.0 and failing parts, incompatible OS..........blah blah blah are rather UN-USABLE!

And you saying 2GB is enough for AutoCad is like when MS used to specifically state that XP only required 128MB and 256 was recommended......NOT!


I'm a tenured 20 yr network engineer and run a medium sized bus tech department and presently architecting the infrastructure from the ground up and replacing PCs left a right because the 4gigs of RAM are insufficient.

You're working with putzes and techno morons that either don't give a shit about productivity and efficiency or they don't want to rag to IT about it.

Furthermore.....SHAME ON YOU for pitching that crap!...........and doing so with conviction! Ridonkulous!


We got some BASIC PC users that whole-heartedly qualify as POWER USERS simply because they have 8 or so Excel spreadsheets open and a few Outlook windows and maybe a stream of music. THis is crippling these days. Oh, and they're I5s.


You don't know what you're talking about..............in this respect only though. Many props to you for other splendid discussions! :)
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Jan 2017 @ 21:13

1523.1.2017 21:17

Originally posted by skeil909:
I would lose my mind trying to do anything on a Yoga or Surface, or even most laptops. They are so irritatinly slow it's not even funny to those of us running high end systems.

i7-6700k w/32GB DDR4-4000
2 x Samsung m.2 950's in RAID 0

A $2000 Surface Pro runs like my old Atari 400 compared to my desktop PC. I get no joy whatsoever when I have to use my smartphone or a tablet. :(

*VM's run circles around the Surface Pro as well.


Oh.......and BTW.............You RAID'ing those two SSDs (M.2) TOTALLY AND EMPHATICALLY NEGATES the "Trim" built into Windows since the 7 days.

This means that your two precious and EXPENSIVE HDDs...........will die MUCH MUCH sooner and come to a noteworthy slow, yes, even though they're screaming fast, inside 6 months.


I am just gonna come out and say it...........RAID'ing SSDs is a STUPID F'ING IDEA...........when you truly know the defecit......which I just told you.

You're welcome

1623.1.2017 22:37

Originally posted by hearme0:
Originally posted by skeil909:
I would lose my mind trying to do anything on a Yoga or Surface, or even most laptops. They are so irritatinly slow it's not even funny to those of us running high end systems.

i7-6700k w/32GB DDR4-4000
2 x Samsung m.2 950's in RAID 0

A $2000 Surface Pro runs like my old Atari 400 compared to my desktop PC. I get no joy whatsoever when I have to use my smartphone or a tablet. :(

*VM's run circles around the Surface Pro as well.


Oh.......and BTW.............You RAID'ing those two SSDs (M.2) TOTALLY AND EMPHATICALLY NEGATES the "Trim" built into Windows since the 7 days.

This means that your two precious and EXPENSIVE HDDs...........will die MUCH MUCH sooner and come to a noteworthy slow, yes, even though they're screaming fast, inside 6 months.


I am just gonna come out and say it...........RAID'ing SSDs is a STUPID F'ING IDEA...........when you truly know the defecit......which I just told you.

You're welcome
Thanks for spewing your useless nonsense, I guess. rofl
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Jan 2017 @ 22:41

1724.1.2017 13:18

Originally posted by skeil909:
Originally posted by hearme0:
Originally posted by skeil909:
I would lose my mind trying to do anything on a Yoga or Surface, or even most laptops. They are so irritatinly slow it's not even funny to those of us running high end systems.

i7-6700k w/32GB DDR4-4000
2 x Samsung m.2 950's in RAID 0

A $2000 Surface Pro runs like my old Atari 400 compared to my desktop PC. I get no joy whatsoever when I have to use my smartphone or a tablet. :(

*VM's run circles around the Surface Pro as well.


Oh.......and BTW.............You RAID'ing those two SSDs (M.2) TOTALLY AND EMPHATICALLY NEGATES the "Trim" built into Windows since the 7 days.

This means that your two precious and EXPENSIVE HDDs...........will die MUCH MUCH sooner and come to a noteworthy slow, yes, even though they're screaming fast, inside 6 months.


I am just gonna come out and say it...........RAID'ing SSDs is a STUPID F'ING IDEA...........when you truly know the defecit......which I just told you.

You're welcome
Thanks for spewing your useless nonsense, I guess. rofl
USELESS?????????? WTF??

I just provided you concrete SOLID and beneficial information so take it intelligently or don't you asshole!


Perhaps you should have simply replied with "Thanks, I knew that"............which you CLEARLY didn't.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 Jan 2017 @ 13:19

1824.1.2017 23:07

Originally posted by hearme0:
Originally posted by KillerBug:
Originally posted by hearme0:
Instead, people that actually HAVE THE MONEY to invest in a rig that might last them more than 3 years, often just buy Dell bottom-ofo-the-barrel crap that becomes obsolete inside 2.5-3 years.
Except, they don't get outdated that fast. A 10-year old econo-box still does Word, Excel, and even some basic photoshop just fine, especially with more and more stuff going cloud. If anything, the concern is not that they will become obsolete in 2-3 years, but that hardware will stop working in 5-10 years. At our local makerspace we have probably 20 bottom-end rigs from 10+ years ago...some don't have working USB anymore, the 40-80GB hard drives are dropping like flies, most of the Dells have new capacitors, and good working mice are in short supply but 2GB and a core 2 duo/Pentium D/etc is still enough for AutoCAD, GIMP, OpenOffice, Pronterface, Slic3r, and various other softwares. That's partly because there is only so much that you can make certain types of software require but it is also at least partially because a new computer isn't so much faster than a 10 year old system that you can get away with writing software that wouldn't work on the 10 year old rig; that software would then run too slow even on the new system.


Well.........you took my term "obsolete" with definitive seriousness now didn't ya...........but I hear ya.


Term goes both ways in general, meaning outdated and unusable for all practical intents and purposes.

Either way, i'm sure my point was understood by all because it referred to the fact that old ass bottom-of-the-barrel boxes that have 80 gig HDD, mobos w/o usb 2.0 or even 3.0 and failing parts, incompatible OS..........blah blah blah are rather UN-USABLE!

And you saying 2GB is enough for AutoCad is like when MS used to specifically state that XP only required 128MB and 256 was recommended......NOT!


I'm a tenured 20 yr network engineer and run a medium sized bus tech department and presently architecting the infrastructure from the ground up and replacing PCs left a right because the 4gigs of RAM are insufficient.

You're working with putzes and techno morons that either don't give a shit about productivity and efficiency or they don't want to rag to IT about it.

Furthermore.....SHAME ON YOU for pitching that crap!...........and doing so with conviction! Ridonkulous!


We got some BASIC PC users that whole-heartedly qualify as POWER USERS simply because they have 8 or so Excel spreadsheets open and a few Outlook windows and maybe a stream of music. THis is crippling these days. Oh, and they're I5s.


You don't know what you're talking about..............in this respect only though. Many props to you for other splendid discussions! :)
If your definition of obsolete is that you can no longer get good money on the used market, then most computers become obsolete around the time you open the box. If your definition of obsolete is that an engineer making $60 an hour loses more than one hour a year while waiting for things to load that would not be lost with a $20 upgrade, then most computers are obsolete before they come out of the factory. You might have noticed that SolidWorks, CATIA, Pro/E, Creo, Inventor, etc are not on the list of software...it isn't just because of licensing but because such programs would be very slow on those old systems. Heck, most of those softwares will have slowdowns and a new twin-ten-core monster with 64GB and a PCIe SSD from time to time. If a $2000 upgrade saves $4000 worth of an engineer's time then it is worth it. Of course any company running AutoCAD doesn't care about that at all because they are running software that makes engineers slow and inefficient on any machine. I was talking about machines over 10 years old, you were saying that a 3-year old version of a machine at the same level needs to be replaced and not even that it needs to be replaced by engineers who should have had a better system to begin with, but that all of them need to be replaced...even ones being used by people who just use them for spreadsheets and emails. I have news for you...if spreadsheets and email cripple an i5, that means the IT department is worthless. You say you are in the IT department??? I've experienced the same in institutions...i5's with 4GB of ram that are slower than my old twin-core AMD laptop because of all the BS, the Windows 10 install that has not been optimized, the network full of lag, etc, etc. Simple fact is that what these "power users" are doing could be done on Windows 98 with a Pentium MMX and the fact that they can't do it with an i5 is all software...software that it is your job to keep from being so wasteful.

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