John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

2009 PC Sales: The PC Stands for Pretty Crappy


The global PC market will suffer a rare decline this year with shipments expected to slip four percent to 287.3 million units in 2009, from 299.2 million in 2008 (click on chart to enlarge). Not since the dot-com bust of 2001 have PC sales been so slow or their outlook so grim, says iSuppli, the research outfit charting the market’s collapse.

“An annual decline in unit shipments is highly unusual in the PC market,” says Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst, for iSuppli. “Even in weak years, PC unit shipments typically rise by single-digit percentages. The last decline–in 2001–was a 5.1 decrease in unit shipments due to the extraordinary impact of the Dot-Com bust, which caused inflated IT spending levels from the previous years to collapse.”

Driving the gloomy forecast this time around: The econalypse, of course, but also, dwindling demand for desktop computers. iSuppli expects an 18.1 percent drop in desktop shipments, from 151.9 million in 2008 to 124.4 million in 2009.

Grim, I know. Still, there is a bit of good news in the report. Notebook PC shipments will rise 11.7 percent to 155.97 million units in in 2009, exceeding desktop shipments for the first time ever.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work