IHS analysts fuel post-PC argument as PC share in DRAM market drops

IHS analysts fuel post-PC argument as PC share in DRAM market drops

Summary: Analysts assert that we're in the post-PC era now that the PC share of the DRAM market has made a record drop.


Personal computers accounted for less than half of the worldwide DRAM market share during the second quarter of 2012, according to a new report from market intelligence firm IHS iSuppli. The significance is that this is the first time PCs have ever dropped below the 50 percent mark in this market.

Thus, analysts have jumped on the idea that this is only another piece of evidence that we have moved into a "post-PC era."

That seems even more convincing when you put into perspective the last time that PCs accounted for less than 50 percent, which was in the 1980s when PCs were still new products.

But when you look at the actual numbers from Q2 2012, it's not as if PCs have dropped well below the halfway mark. In fact, PCs accounted for 49 percent of the DRAM market, down from 50.2 percent in Q1.


Nevertheless, IHS analysts argue that this occurance still "symbolizes the decline of the PC market" -- mainly because mobile is getting stronger with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets.

Clifford Leimbach, a memory analyst at IHS, explained further in the report that this doesn't mean the death of PCs, but rather that PCs are simply losing their long-standing dominance along the electronics supply chain as well.

"For DRAM suppliers, the focus in the future increasingly will be on serving the needs of fast-expanding new markets for smartphones and tablets, at the expense of catering to the PC business," he added.

Leimbach also cited the decline of the Wintel alliance between Microsoft and Intel as a contributing factor. Earlier this month, IHS published a report hinting that there are frays in the relationship as both tech giants also try to catch up with the mobile market.

Chart via IHS iSuppli

Topics: Hardware, PCs, Tech Industry

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  • Intersting...

    I'm going to post this from my new Mac Mini and then later on I'll probably reply to comments with my New HP Laptop.

    Of course, I could just reply from one of the 1200 new systems at work.
    • you do realize there are more than 1202 devices in the world

      Post-PC doesn't mean no PCs, just their dominance ends.

      Device production has clearly overtaken the stagnant PC market.
      Richard Flude
  • Total Sales, darling, total sales.

    If total sales are up 50% from 10 years ago, and yet market share is down below 50%.

    What is the problem here?

    Oh, I know, headlines.
    • The problem here....

      seems to be that you do not think much before you comment. Just because you do not grasp it does not mean that it is not significant and worthy of a blog post.

    The post PC world is here to stay, but PCs will still be sold for a few years.

    For instance, When the Automobile era dawned, they still made buggy whips for years. After CDs came into vogue, cassettes were still sold for a few years. When the DVD came out, the videocassette business was still around for a couple years after. When MP3 players hit the market, Sony still made CD Walkmans for years afterward.

    We have seen this all before...a new technology is ushered in, just as an old one suddenly becomes obsolete. The transition will be hardest for Wintel, but even the largest buggy whip company had to shut its doors one day.
    • Correct history...

      But nit really relivent - lots of those early car companies also closed doors early on. The difference is that the manufacturers of these ne devices are the same as the manufacturers of the old ones. The mobile device "revolution" isn't actually as revolutionary as it seems - especially since the power of mobile devices is growing so fast that the need for (non binary compatible) OS for desktop and mobile is already a near thing of the past.

      For those of us that remember we were told over 10 years ago that falling laptop prices and rising performance ment the end o the desktop pc; and sure 95% of student machines are laptops and the market diluted, but the PC's are still there - it's not just the power available when you don't have to worry about mobility, but also a psychological aspect - people have work machines, work spaces, some even like desktops.

      As others have said, the market will continue to dilite - my Nexus amazes me the way the iPhone did when smart phones were new, but I've got to say the macbook air is my favourite device for 5 years easy - it does everything anywhere.

      I think the numbers on the sales front hide a certain underlying truth - mobile devices have a life upto two years - laptops are usually replaced between 3 and 5 and desktops often last 5 years or more between replacement - especially now processing power outstips usage ; how many people know someone with an '06 PC?

      The growth in mobile devices doesn't tell the whole story - people aren't buying smart phones to replace laptops - they're buying them additionally, and at a Rate of twice as fast.

      Similarly not all tablet sales replace laptops - of course there are many who do replace a laptop with a tablet- that's the point of the devices; more flexibility and choice. And I definatley think this will happen as more poweful and less restrictive tablets come in.

      However many people are buying tablets in addition to the laptops; there is a definite case of increaseing numbers of devices per user behind the current numbers. Also bear in min that 3 years ago nobody really bothered with tablets; they've had laptops for over a decade.

      A big shift I've been expecting for years - integration of TV and desktop pc. Hopefully we'll see something a bit better than smart tv's in the not too distant future!
  • The problem is...Post PC

    That term is overused. Because a "Personal Computer" really should mean ALL computing devices (they run an OS, installable-by-user programs, create and consume data, and as needed can communicate with other computers) that anyone uses. While yes, the desktop form factor and the laptop form factor are decreasing in importance, personal computing is GROWING. What is a tablet and a smartphone? TRULY "PERSONAL" COMPUTERS. We need to dump the IBM/Microsoft/Intel definition of these devices and move on. Nice thing is, when that is done, computing is expanding, not contracting. Pretty cool, I'd say.
    • I agree!

      We call mobile computers "devices" ignoring the fact that they are all computers.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • ... ignoring the fact that they are all computers.

        Well, the ones running Android certainly are computers and can be used as such. The Apple and Microsoft ones less so.
  • IHS analysts fuel post-PC argument as PC share in DRAM market drops

    during the heydays of the big irons, people were dreaming of possessing their very own personal computer (particularly those in the scientific community), then intel developed a general purpose computer brain on a chip. then a breed of new computing platform was born, and they are called personal computers or PC. whatever you call them, all intelligent gadget based on a computer brain that each of us can own and use/operate is a personal computer. and although we percieve pcs as housed in a rectangular box with keyboard, mouse, display, etc., the fact remains the same... there well be no post-pc!