Tablets will displace PC units; Time to pick winners and losers

Tablets will displace PC units; Time to pick winners and losers

Summary: Gartner revised its global PC shipment estimate largely because of tablets. Specifically, Gartner projected 352.4 million PC units in 2010, up 14.3 percent from 2009. The problem: Gartner was expecting growth of 17.9 percent in September.

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It's becoming increasingly difficult to pretend that tablets aren't hurting PC sales.

Gartner on Monday revised its global PC shipment estimate largely because of tablets. Specifically, Gartner projected 352.4 million PC units in 2010, up 14.3 percent from 2009. The problem: Gartner was expecting growth of 17.9 percent in September.

What happened? The iPad happened. Gartner also projected 2011 PC shipments of 409 million units, up 15.9 percent from 2010. That projection is also down from Gartner's previous estimate for growth of 18.1 percent.

In a statement, Gartner said:

Over the longer term, media tablets are expected to displace around 10 percent of PC units by 2014.

The PC isn't dead yet, but smartphones, tablets and mobile computing are becoming more popular. Gartner said that these mobile devices will be more complements to PCs, but will cannibalize some sales.

George Shiffer, an analyst at Gartner, painted the picture.

PCs are still seen as necessities, but the PC industry's inability to significantly innovate and its overreliance on a business model predicated on driving volume through price declines are finally impacting the industry's ability to induce new replacement cycles. As the PC market slows, vendors that differentiate themselves through services and technology innovation rather than unit volume and price will dictate the future. Even then, leading vendors will be challenged to keep PCs from losing the device ‘limelight’ to more innovative products that offer better dedicated compute capabilities.

That point is notable. The big challenge is predicting winners and losers. A quick initial scorecard:

Winners:

  • Apple: Early lead with iPad and competition isn't up to snuff yet.
  • Google: Android will power tablets and give it more of a monetization play in computing devices.
  • Motorola, Samsung and HTC: These players could become PC replacements and tackle a larger market.

Losers:

  • Dell: The company has some focus on tablets and mobile devices, but lacks a hit and the DNA for design.
  • Hewlett-Packard: Can the company grow tablets fast enough to offset potential losses in its PC business? Still awaiting the master plan for tablets and HP's Palm business.
  • Acer: The company will be a tablet player, but it's hard to ignore that it is tied to the PC business.

On the bubble:

  • Microsoft: A mixed bag here. First, Microsoft lacks an iPad killer and dominant mobile operating system. However, Microsoft does know touch well and could play in tablets. Can the Windows playbook last? In addition, Microsoft is growing its services effort.
  • Research in Motion: The fate here largely depends on how the PlayBook does.
  • Intel: Does it have an answer for tablets yet? If not, Intel is tethered to the PC market as rivals like Qualcomm and Nvidia eye tablets.

Related:

Topics: CXO, Hardware, IT Priorities, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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  • The other losers in this: Win32/64 OSes. MS Office.

    We have to cut loose the old baggage from the last century sooner of later.
    DonnieBoy
    • Sure, DonniBoy, sure.

      same old tired line you've been saying for the last 5 years?
      LOL!
      John Zern
      • And, MS stock has been in the toilet for over 10 years now. They are

        clinging to the Win32/64 OS monopoly, and MS Office, but, you can see from the stock price that MS is still in trouble.
        DonnieBoy
      • Good thing I have Apple stock, too then

        DB, but then again, when backed into a corner you go and start talking about things way above your level of understanding. It only makse you look even more foolish.<br><br>Same old thing you've been doing for the last 5 years.<br>

        (BTW: 8 posts already on the same subject DB? Desparate much?)

        LOL!
        John Zern
      • John Zern: If you own Apple stock too, then you should understand very cl

        clearly what we mean by MS stock being in the toilet.
        DonnieBoy
      • RE: Tablets will displace PC units; Time to pick winners and losers

        @Donnieboy - you just don't have a clue.
        ItsTheBottomLine
    • Guys

      Quit giving him the time of day.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • Wow, with the brilliant argument you gave in this post, I think that

        all tablets will run Win32 and MS Office within the month.
        DonnieBoy
      • It's a whos-who of windoze-based losers

        Dell?
        HP?
        Acer?

        lol.... :D Why am I not surprised...

        It's 21st century, boys. 1998 was a long time ago...
        ahh so
    • Ummm, do you really understand what you are saying?

      @DonnieBoy The reason I ask is that you don't seem to quite get it that this is not really about Microsoft. If Gartner is correct (which I doubt) then tablets are just as much of a hit on OSX as they are on Windows. iPad is iOS (I mean the Apple OS with it's name stolen from Cisco not the original iOS found in Cisco devices) not OSX - you knew that, right?
      cornpie
      • What part of the iPad does not run Win32/64 or MS Ofice is it that you do

        not understand??? And, iOS is OSX for smart phones. They renamed the version for smart phones iOS later. When Steve Jobs introduced iPhone, he said it ran OSX. But the important thing here is the proliferation of platforms that do not do Win32/64, and do not run MS Office.
        DonnieBoy
      • RE: Tablets will displace PC units; Time to pick winners and losers

        @cornpie - you are 100% correct and he will be chirping the same thing in 10 years still from his parents house. But your right - he just doesn't get it.
        ItsTheBottomLine
      • Hey, cornpie . . .

        have you noticed that he was saying Win32, until a bunch of pointed out that people were migrating to the 64 bit environment, now all of a sudden he's saying Win32/64???
        JLHenry
    • RE: Tablets will displace PC units; Time to pick winners and losers

      @DonnieBoy - Any chance we can cut you lose too? You're constantly banging the same old drum and truly it's annoying.

      ZDNET! How about an "ignore this poster" button so that your website does the filtering for me?
      PollyProteus
      • RE: Tablets will displace PC units; Time to pick winners and losers

        @PollyProteus You know the funny thing is he posts, and he can't even get attention for this Alter he has in his mother's basement to Google, so you think he can move the needle for some sad argument about 32/64bit processing. He obviously does not work in IT - fry cook maybe?
        ItsTheBottomLine
    • RE: Tablets will displace PC units; Time to pick winners and losers

      @DonnieBoy <br><br>Yep Linux and BSD Unix (OS/X, iOS), those tired old 20C OSs. I agree Donnie, time to let them go.

      Ooooh Ooooh. You're now including Win 64 - nice to see you up with the latest tech despite your love of antiques ;-)
      tonymcs@...
    • RE: Tablets will displace PC units; Time to pick winners and losers

      @DonnieBoy you guys are all the same... backing a company that doesnt care what their customers want and has no idea it is about to get left behind... lets face it, Jobs is making the same mistakes he made more than 20 years ago only this time, there will not be a shot at redemption.
      slickjim
    • RE: Tablets will displace PC units; Time to pick winners and losers

      @DonnieBoy oh and for the record, MS made almost the same amount of cash as Apple and that will top that total in 2011... oh and if I am not mistaken it was Microsoft that surpassed expectations and Apple that failed to meet them.
      slickjim
      • RE: Tablets will displace PC units; Time to pick winners and losers

        @Peter Perry

        Actually Microsoft profits are larger than Apple.
        jhughesy
    • RE: Tablets will displace PC units; Time to pick winners and losers

      One point the article left out is units like Apple's Mac "Air" type "laptops". With it's flash memory and speed it's a real game changer in the information and Mobil computing age.
      michael@...