Not only are smartphones and tablet PCs taking over the mobile phone industry, but it seems that they are also taking a bite out of the personal computer industry, as PC sales have been noted to be on the decline and industry leaders are warning of even further slumps.
This follows recent reports that in one of the largest markets in the world, China, consumers were increasingly turning to their mobile phones and that it was these handheld devices that had now overtaken PCs as the medium by which the country's 538 million internet users were getting online, with the number having increased by 10 percent in 2011.
Now the US computer chip manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has voiced concerns about the falling PC sales and cites China as a particular area of concern. And it seems that its concerns are proving to be valid, as the company posted a 39 percent drop in net income compared to the previous year, earning $37 million for its second quarter of the year following which, share prices of the company fell by 13 percent.
Research firm IDC has also confirmed this growing trend, stating in a report that PC sales in the Asia Pacific region shrank between April and June.
Chief executive of the company, Rory Read spoke about the lag in PC sales, saying, "It is clear that global economic activity is slowing, and this is impacting the PC market. For the first time since 2001, client PC shipments have declined sequentially for three consecutive quarters and have been below historical averages for the last seven quarters. We expect macro headwinds will continue for the third quarter. We also believe the PC industry may be resetting to a new baseline and that full year industry growth estimates will be reduced."
According to the IDC report, the Asia Pacific region saw a 1 percent decrease in PC sales between April and June, compared to last year with US PC makers seeing the biggest drops with HP down by 19 percent and Dell by 18 percent. PC sales did, however, increase in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, but this was underscored by the fact that previous years had seen poor sales.
IDC analyst Avinash Sundaram commented, saying, "Ongoing turbulence in western economies has finally caught up with markets in this part of the world as well, with distractions from competing product categories like smartphones and tablets not helping matters either.”
It is believed that a combination of the global economic recession, the rise of smartphones and the strength of dollar have contributed to this trend, but analysts say that with the release of Microsoft’s latest Windows, Windows 8, on the horizon, PC sales could experience a boost.