Market research firm Gartner recently reported that PC shipments in the first three months of 2013 declined 11.2% over the same period in 2012. International Data Corp. (IDC) found the tumble to be closer to 14%, but both firms suggest Windows 8 deserves some of the blame.
The problem is that PC makers are producing higher-priced devices to take advantage of the touch-centric start screen used by the Microsoft operating system, according to an article in PC World. For instance, the Samsung Series 9 ultrabook has state-of-the-art features and a price tag of $1,400, making it less attractive to many consumers.
“At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market,” Bob O’Donnell, IDC program vice president, clients and displays, said in an article in SlashGear.
Budget machines that offer touchscreens, along with low-cost hybrid PCs and notebooks with longer battery life, could offer relief, according to PC World. However, Stephen Baker of the consumer market research firm The NDP Group said higher-priced devices may be the right way to proceed.
“Right now, we are seeing a shift in sales volume away from under-$500 PCs towards tablets in that same price point,” Baker wrote to PC World. “We don’t see the same level of shift between the two in products above $500.”