Q1 PC Shipments Drop By Most Ever

Tyler Durden's picture

If weak PC sales throughout 2012 were blamed on expectations for Windows 8, now it is the turn to blame weak PC sales on Windows 8 "lukewarm reception" disappointment. Just never the economy, and the fact that there just is no actual end demand. "Although the reduction in shipments was not a surprise, the magnitude of the contraction is both surprising and worrisome," is how IDC describes the utter collapse in PC Shipments in Q1 2013. Against a forecast -7.7%, the worldwide shipment of PCs collapsed -13.9% to a mere 76.3 million units. This is the fourth consecutive quarter of declines and is the worst quarter since records began in 1994. Interestingly, Europe did not do as bad as expected (though the consumer was worse) but the US and AsiaPac (Ex Japan) both plunged more than expected. Lenovo has almost closed the gap to HP as the world's leading supplier after HP's shipments fell a stunning 23% in Q1. HP opened -7.5% and MSFT -4.3%.



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butchee's picture

New AAPL target of $317

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Gee, it's almost like the economy is collapsing. Or something.

LawsofPhysics's picture

If only you could eat those computers, then sales would come back.  7+billion people all trying to improve their quality of life.  Plenty of demand, so little real capital/assets  - mark to fantasy forever!!! (Fuck you Bernanke).

aint no fortunate son's picture

Hey, for you techies it's very simple. Whether it's stock prices or economic reports, if you turn your monitor upside down when prices or stats fall, voila! like magic they're actually UP! Dontcha see, this is what the bernank and BLS have been doing all along, now YOU can do it too!

fonestar's picture

I'm not surprised, Windows 8 has to be an even dumber idea than Vista.  The thing tries to turn your PC into an Apple iPhone!

Stock Tips Investment's picture

I agree with your post. I think the market entry of smart phones and tablets is affecting the world of PCs

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

As corporation and government is rob middle class, who is to buy PC?

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Boris did the ask question:

As corporation and government is rob middle class, who is to buy PC?

SEC does buying some for view the pornographicals.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Perhaps a special tax on those employed in the private sector can fund Obama Computers? Also, if you get a student loan you also get a voucher for 1500 to be used to buy a new computer. No, make that 3500 so they can afford an Apple product.  That should help.

GeezerGeek's picture

Relatively few consumers ever needed the computing power of a PC. Now that one can surf on a smart phone or tablet, no need for a PC to access the internet. Email? Most people manage to make fools of themselves in less than 140 characters, so why use Outlook/gmail/hotmail/whatever? Watching movies? No need for a PC any longer, either. More, the XBox, Wii and PS3 are doing more of the infotainment stuff that once required a PC.

Besides, the PC is too easily made into a secure communications device, whereas most users of all those other devices seem immune to worries about privacy and security.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Relatively few consumers ever needed the computing power of a PC

Speak for yourself GeezerGeek! Every person I know is feverishly mining BitCoins.

Ying-Yang's picture

it is part of the dumbing down of the masses... no personal computing just twitter your life away.

so sad but so true.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Sorry, everyone, I think this is at least partially my fault. My last two computer purchases were off-lease refurbished Thinkpads.

Yeah, they were a year or two old, but in nearly new condition. Even after buying new extended run time batteries for them, they were still each about $800 less than if I'd bought them new.

Wipe the drives and install Linux and they run faster than a scalded ass ape.

DCFusor's picture

As a developer and trader, my PC's are really required for what I do - no little phone or tablet will ever replace multiple large monitors and sheer horsepower that I can control by writing my own code.  I just bought another, bringing my total to nearly 20 PC's.  But I'm quite a rarity there.

I just hope volumes don't go so low as to make the prices go up due to the niche-ness of the market.  I'll be on desktops/towers for a long time myself, I find the mobile stuff much too wimpy for most of what I do.

As pointed out, most just don't need this kind of power and network.  Another factor is that PC's simply became much more powerful than *most* people need, since most people don't do physics simulations, train neural nets, backtest stock trading strategies and so on.

In tight times - why upgrade something that's already better than most need?  Even I still use some  2 core relative clunkers (that were the hottest thing going when bought).  Because they do their job and are dead-reliable.

When auto companies actually started making cars that are good, and last a long time, the same thing happened - the age of the fleet went up as people didn't need to replace them as often.

Same thing here, I believe.  In my own case, I find that my biggest machine - top of the line i7 + over a thousand Cuda cores - does what I need it to - and if I were to want significantly more, well, it's just not available on my budget.  Most of the math problems I solve/simulate "blow up" factorially or more than exponential, so the "next increment" over something that fits under a desk is something that needs its own building - which ain't gonna happen here anytime soon.


Winston Smith 2009's picture

"I'm not surprised, Windows 8 has to be an even dumber idea than Vista.  The thing tries to turn your PC into an Apple iPhone!"

That's exactly what they're trying to do.  The penetration of Microsoft into the rapidly growing mobile computing segment, a segment which will be the segment in the future, is an absolutely miserable low single digit percentage:


By crowbarring a smart phone/tablet user interface (UI) onto the desktop Microsoft hopes to develop a generation of users who will buy a Win Mobile smart phone or Win8  tablet because they recognize and already know the user interface from their desktop or laptop machine. 

However, what Microsoft has foisted onto the laptop and desktop is a UI that can't even be called a windowing interface any more.  It's 2D TILES.  It should be called Microsoft Tiles 1.0.  It's crap for power users:


I often need to have multiple windows open on the desktop simultaneously.  You cannot do that with Win8, you can only have one open over the majority of the screen with small tiles for the others on the left edge of the screen.  Why?  Because on a smart phone or tablet, your screen is too small to have multiple apps visible at the same time, so that capability is not included even in the laptop/desktop version of Win8.  Idiotic!

Microsoft has saddled laptop and desktop users with smart phone/tablet touchscreen interface.  Screw 'em.  I will never use Win8 until they allow a full Win7 functionality mode.  Besides the economy, others feeling the same way is a major reason why PCs aren't selling well.

DCFusor's picture

Sadly, it's not just M$ - if you've seen Ubuntu Unity - it's just as sucky.  We just tossed 10 years of usability progress for real users.  Luckily, in open source there's a solution - it pissed enough good coders off for them to write new desktop/windowing components that let us have the good old interface, with some progress in making it better than it was.

But every manuf caught the disease it seems.  They don't give a shit about their installed base, only new sales, and are just slavishly following the migration of most people to crap mobiles - crap if you need any real computing power and flexibility and multi-tasking.

I recently got a Nexus 10 - it's cute, sometimes handy and so on.  But solve any real problem on it?  You must be joking, it's just not there.  It's great for consuming content, sucks for creating anything real - it's a toy that probably does match the mainstream mentality - the "average guy" who half of people are even dumber than.  That ain't me.  I'm a maker...I need real tools.

waterwitch's picture

why buy a pc when your phone already is one?!

Discloser: My phone is a tracfone. My PC is a dell pentium R running Linux. Who needs all this shit?

Devils Advocate's picture

Not According to Joe Kernan at CNBC, he says its time to get excited!!!

aerojet's picture

More like, a lot of people have moved to phones and tablets and don't need to upgrade their PC as often.  My main desktop PC is like seven or eight years old now.  It's due for replacement, but we have four or five laptops, three phones, two tablets.  You get the idea...

slackrabbit's picture

If you want to speed it up consideably, don't by a new pc.

Buy yourself a sold state hard drive; trust me, you will not believe the difference.

teolawki's picture

It's both. 1Q PC sales reflect both the collapse in IT capital expenditures and the extremely tepid reception of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 in the corporate IT arena. IT departments are historically one of the first to feel a capex squeeze so the drop in PC/server sales was baked in. However, the record monkey hammering that hardware manufacturers just received can be laid squarely on Microsoft's design decision to go with the "Metro" interface. It's the worst possible decision they could have made with regards to a corporate network environment. Thanks M$!

Senior IT with 17+ years in a corporate IT environment. (Just so you know I'm not talking out of my ass.)

Dudeskis's picture

A lot of it is that Windows 8 blows and lack of need for better hardware to power current software. I built a desktop in 2009 and an upgrade to SSD drives is all I've done. Just bought Borderland 2 and it runs it lag free at 1920x1200. Reality is even worse for the Internet/document crowd. I bet many of them are still fine with their MacBook that got them through college 4 years ago.

Freddie's picture

I bet college kids who used a MacBook that got them through college 4 years ago are going to have to make do.  There are no jobs for them.  Hope & Change rolls on.

Dark_Horse's picture


Another fossil of the advance of technology. It has become the typewriter of its age.

Now come the days of the smart phone.



BurningFuld's picture

Quite true. The browser on my new Blackberry is as fast as my Windows 7 box...................Z10 baby!

Smegley Wanxalot's picture

The Z10 Blackberry browser sucks, basically.Well, it's nothing special, anyway. I am returning mine on Monday - it was provided by BB for me to test.

LawsofPhysics's picture

"New AAPL target of $317" -  Are you talking about apple computer or an actual bushel of granny smiths?  Look at the prices paid for a bushel (in fiat) of the latter over the last ten years (thank you Bernanke, you ignorant fuck).

GeezerGeek's picture

Both? It's called convergence, I think. The granny smiths are better, because you can eat one (but not an iSomething), you can communicate with one (if you can throw accurately), and they 'work' when the power is gone or the internet is down. Which reminds me of the old list of reasons why cucumbers are better than men. I was given the list by a lady coworker, which indicates how long ago that happened.

e1618978's picture

PC shipments are collapsing due to the iPad, not a problem for Apple.

Croatian Patriot's picture

So this is the reason why Silver goes down :)

TeamDepends's picture

Damn you, Sequester!!!!

GetZeeGold's picture



This reduction in the rise of spending is really kicking our ass.....I'd hate to see what spending cuts would do.

CheapBastard's picture

We already have 5 computers and 12 iPods in the house....we don't need another one of ANYTHING!

camaro68ss's picture

Sounds like you don't have any IPads. Must buy each family member IPads now.

-The Bernake

matrix2012's picture

and remember, you still have to collect many of ipad mini, and perhaps in near future ipad medium (9") and ipad supermini (5"), and dont forget those ipods as the hearing aids.

Global Hunter's picture

my wife and I both using our own machines, both hand me downs from older family members that updgraded over the last few years.  There quickly becomes a point where the upgrades and technology advancements on newer machines are completely lost on myself (if they really have improved I simply don't notice).  My good quality but slightly older equipment does everything I need, and with the state of the economy there's no need to buy a new one with our limited supply of disposable income.

Agent P's picture

I agree...just like 720p vs. 1080i/p in HDTV...if your eyes can tell the difference, more power to you.

bnbdnb's picture

You just need a bigger TV.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Nah, man needs a projector.

GeezerGeek's picture

The last time I had to retire a PC (as a geek, I have way too many) it was because the machine and graphics card simply couldn't handle all the animated garbage that popped up on most web pages. The bus was so old no one made a more capable graphics card any longer. That was before things like AdBlock came along to liberate all those processing cycles, and which I never (of course) use while on ZH.

Dudeskis's picture

Don't have iPad Minis? Go sell all your good right now and buy the Minis. Everyone needs them, NOW.

P.S. sell your gold.
- Goldman Sachs

bnbdnb's picture

Plug the multiples with fiat. Any questions?

spinone's picture

No new employees, no new PCs.  Simple


NoDebt's picture

Still running a bunch of Windows XP machines at the office.  Including the one I'm typing this comment on.  Our NEWEST machines run Windows 7.  We aren't even entertaining Windows 8.  Tried it on our home computers..... and saw absolutely no reason to move to it at the office.

The one overriding comment seems to be "They just change stuff around on the creen but it doesn't do anything new or different.  Just makes you have to re-learn how to use it."

Touch screen capabilities of Windows 8?  Maybe if I'm running a McDonalds I might care, but I don't.

Cursive's picture


I'm typing on my WinXP machine right now.  MSFT just announced that it will drop support for XP on 4/8/14.  Fine, if I notice any security vulnerabilities, I'll finally make the full switch to LinuxMint.  Oh, and the only thing that mildly interests me as a future purchase for the house are the Android-on-a-stick variety.  This one is nice, if the least portable of the category:




CH1's picture

Yeah, Linux is the way to go these days.

BurningFuld's picture

I have Linux on a USB drive. Plug it in to any PC and away you go....mobile computer on your key chain.

GeezerGeek's picture

I, too, use XP (64 bit) on my browsing/everyday machine. I have other systems running newer OSes, but XP does what I need and the machine consumes little power. The main problem for XP users will occur when new web technologies are no longer supported by browsers available for XP. That may even include corporate users, although in my experience the browser issue often hindered upgrades rather than promoted them. Some major industry applications that used a web front end refused for the longest time to go beyond Internet Explorer 6, much less handle Firefox, Chrome, whatever.    

TeamDepends's picture

Pfffft.  Our abacus still works like a charm and there's no premature vaccinatin' Bill Gates twaddle nowheres.