Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Slowing China Shipments Push PC Market From Bad to Worse

keep-calm-and-manage-decline-t-shirt-4-featureResearch firm IDC has published its latest take on the state of the personal computer market, and depending on how you look at it — and where you work — it appears to be a case of going from bad to worse.

Slower-than-expected shipments in China brought on in part by the timing of the Chinese New Year holiday, plus government budget reductions, cut into sales in January and February, the firm said. The market is now expected to decline by 7.7 percent, which is 2 percentage points worse than previously expected. And it could get still worse. The firm won’t rule out a further drop into a double-digit percentage decline before a possible recovery mid-year.

The latest assessment comes only a few days after IDC released figures showing unabated growth in the market for tablets, which have been cutting into PC sales for years now.

Also, IDC’s dour outlook on PCs doesn’t mention the sales of Apple’s Macs. As it happens, another research firm, NPD, today put out its latest look at Mac sales, and they’re up by 14 percent year on year for January and February. One reason, said analyst Gene Munster of PiperJaffray in a research note to clients today, is that Apple has firmed up its supply of iMacs. Tight supplies knocked shipments down by about 700,000 units in December, Munster said. Even so, Munster expects Mac sales overall to trend down by about 5 percent in the first quarter.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik