back to article Steve JOBS finally DEFEATS the PC - from BEYOND THE GRAVE

So it's official - the lifelong battle of legendary Apple CEO Steve Jobs is finally won, now that he has toppled the PC platform from beyond the grave: well, in the UK, at least. During Q1 this year more slablets were shipped into consumer and business channels than PCs - that's notebooks AND desktops COMBINED. Beancounting …

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  1. sandman

    No surprise

    It's not really much of a shock, how many people need a fully functioning PC as opposed to a portable media consumption and communication device? Add a bunch of useful apps and browser-based interaction and I reckon that's about most peoples needs satisfied.

    1. ColonelClaw

      Re: No surprise

      Agreed. At work I have a mega-PC with lots of cores/GPUs/RAM/gerbils etc, but at home I am now finding I never need more than a tablet. It's a new wave of devices that aren't actually overpriced shit.

    2. Another Justin

      Re: No surprise

      I have a tablet sat on my coffee table that I find myself using picking up very frequently for fairly standard "light internet use", reading e-mail, looking up film reviews, ordering takeaway etc... Its so much easier to just pick up a tablet and turn it off standby than having to walk across the room and wait for the PC to boot up.

      In reality about half the time I find myself giving up on these fairly straightforward tasks and using the PC anyway through sheer frustration at the effort of typing in password / card numbers, or some website with a dodgey drop down menu / JavaScript combo box that doesn't work properly without a mouse (I'm looking at you National Rail!). The one that really gets me is takeaway ordering - the tablet should be ideal for this but the ordering systems are so difficult to use that I generally just give up and use the PC anyway.

      Although many people don't "need" a full PC for these sorts of things, a lot of the time its just so much quicker and easier to do these simple tasks on a PC with a proper keyboard and mouse. The only way I can see this changing is if the average tablet also has a keyboard and mouse, which is kind of cheating really.

  2. Hooksie

    Colour me shocked

    So the vast majority of people prefer to have a mobile internet enabled device that they can use on their couch rather than have a desktop PC that does far more than they need? Well, who would have thunk it.

    Of course it's all Microsoft's fault for releasing Windows 8. *sarcasm*

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Flatpackhamster

        Re: Colour me shocked

        Nobody asks you your opinion, but you seem to give it regardless. Endlessly.

        How many downvotes DO you haev?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Colour me shocked

          "How many downvotes DO you haev?"

          I didn't know life was graded based on internet votes.

          This is what you get from the Facebook generation. >:/

          Anyway, for *once* Eadon has it right: Windows 8 is dooming PC vendors as consumers stay away from upgrading to it in droves. The downvotes were given by stupidity, nobody would have downvoted the same general opinion just under 4 short years ago if the sentence read "Of course it's all Microsoft's fault for releasing Vista" as everyone knew it was true.

          A lot of PC sales, as they are in other markets of consumers goods, are driven by a known path: first adopters then upgraders. The first adopters grab the new product as soon as it is available, needing or simply desiring to be on the 'cutting edge'. After the first adopters get their feet bloodied, err, wet, they go out to World+dog and chat up the product. The upgraders then jump on board, wish to experience the new good's 'upgrades' and using various reasonings to acquire the upgrade: replacing old hardware, replacing damaged hardware, replacing due to boredom with current, etc.

          The problem is that a poor release of a new product's upgrade breaks the first adopters part of the equation and, therefore, you do not get the 'critical mass' of word-of-mouth to create enough desire in the upgraders. This was Vista's, and now is Windows 8's, problem. No one is truly hyping Windows 8 as a 'necessary' upgrade, unlike Windows XP followed by Windows 7. No one in the industry is really saying "You're still running Windows 98?! Why aren't you on XP!?" = "You're still running Windows 7?! Why aren't you on Windows 8!?"

          Just isn't happening. So the PC market has burst - everyone is just fine at the level they are currently at. "Why spend money upgrading something I already have, especially when the upgrade is really a 'downgrade'", people are saying to themselves.

          So buying is down through the floor. Oh, they're still spending, but spending on the hyped product: tablets and smartphones. PC's just have no 'mojo' right now - unglamorous, almost no new ideas to entice customers with pretty-shiny and with a lamentable OS that no one really loves as well! Bleh! "BORING!"

          I'll make a reasonable prediction: It will take 6 to 9 months to rebound but the new Windows 8.1 release that brings back the desktop, and de-emphasizes touchscreens, will cause a upward bounce in sales (by Christmas, IF the channel can get replaced with enough AFFORDABLE Win8.1 product to replace the 8.0 on the shelves).

          1. Phoenix50
            WTF?

            Re: Colour me shocked

            Hmm.

            If Microsoft had released Windows 8, complete with Start button, Full (and only) Desktop and NO metro whatsoever they'd have been lampooned for not keeping up with technology - and PC shipments would STILL decline.

            This has got nothing to do with Windows 8 - despite what Eadon might want everyone to think. MS could have done nothing for the past two years and kept releasing Windows 7 service packs and the numbers would be no different (in my opinion worse, but then, I like Windows 8).

            1. JEDIDIAH
              Linux

              Re: Colour me shocked

              The real problem is that a 5 year old PC is still respectable.

              A 5 year old tablet or video streamer is a joke. Plus, the market isn't saturated yet.

              The ARM device market is about where PCs were 20 years ago. In a world fixated on the newest thing and only the current quarter, a lot of ink gets dedicated to the flavor of the moment. Meanwhile, even mainframes happily chug along doing pretty much what they've always done.

              1. RussellMcIver
                Thumb Up

                Re: Colour me shocked

                JEDIDIAH has it right.

                PC's are a saturated, mature market, and people do not need to upgrade as often as they once did. When tablets have been around longer and every man and his dog already has one, and the market has matured to a point where a 2+ year old model is still perfectly servicable, then we will see the same reduction in sales in the tablet market as we are seeing in PCs.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Colour me shocked

              I don't believe that. Many companies were STILL on the upgrade path to WIndows 7 before they got the rug 'pulled out' from under them by the immediate release of Windows 8.

              So now upgrading companies have an unfortunate choice:

              a) throw away the past 1 to 2 years of their Windows 7 upgrade planning and start testing for Windows 8;

              b) continue with their Windows 7 migration path...when they can get/find a supplier still shipping the Windows 7 'downgrade' option

              Now, even if you are not a company, you are still dealing with the same mindset as above if even considering new hardware. 'Should I get Windows 8, try to find Windows 7 or simply sit on my hands and wait'. Fact of thought, because *I* certainly had them just 4 months ago. I decided I certainly was NOT going to Windows 8 but all the major laptop companies wanted to push me on Win8; instead, I jumped on a per-owned out-of-lease Windows 7 machine while I could get my hands on one before they all dried up. Stunning deal, too - a good move, and I think I'm looking for more to upgrade another machine in the same manner.

              If the companies want to push Win8 down my throat, I'll be happy to look for other alternatives thank you very much. I think many potential PC buyers are doing exactly that - at the shops I have visited, Win8 desktop PC's sit untouched and unloved, you can hear the crickets in the showroom from the lack of interested shoppers (I've gone 3 times in the past 2 months). People look as they walk by, maybe try out the touchsceen interface (as I did), say "Meh" (as I did), and walk away. In the Big Box store, laptop shoppers are going to Apple rather than deal with the unknown of Win8 and the touchscreen interface (at least that is what it seemed - 1 shopper at the Win8 tables and a group at the Apple display, I stayed for a while).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Colour me shocked

        Eadon, you ask men in the street what they think about Microsoft? Blimey!

        1. Ragarath

          Re: Colour me shocked

          @AC 14:15

          Eadon, you ask men in the street what they think about Microsoft? Blimey!

          Yes he does, and look they tell him that they have not used it but believe the here-say!

          From Eadons post: They tell me that they are hearing bad things about it. Note: they are hearing. Not after trying it.

          These type of people that do not try before commenting (probably like Eadon as I am sure he would not touch the MS software from hell) are not worth bothering with. If someone told them person X is a witch they would help burn them without ever testing it themselves.

      3. Daniel B.

        Re: Colour me shocked

        Eadon's right, dudes. Everyone knew that PC sales were declining for all the known reasons (current ones are good enough to chug along for years, tablets substitute casual use) but Windows 8 managed to make the sales decline steeper. Even IDC knows it.

        MS really shot its foot this time.

      4. paulll

        Re: Colour me shocked

        "That's causation, not correlation."

        Is it?

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Colour me shocked

        Sitting here on the train reading this on an hp elitepad, having read my company mail (2 minutes to set up), I am (unusually for me, anyway) sitting on a fence.

        For M$ entrenched, the market will give them devices like the elitepad, and I have to say that the more I use it the more I like it. And it works with Windows 8, actually better for work than the iPad that sits unused in my desk drawer at work.

        What's dead? I wouldn't put any money into makers of keyboards and mice, that's for sure...

        1. Steven Roper

          Re: Colour me shocked

          " I wouldn't put any money into makers of keyboards and mice, that's for sure..."

          Really? Have you tried coding a 100,000 line application on a tablet with a touch screen keyboard lately?

          It may well be that mice might disappear as touch screens become more prevalent, but I think the humble keyboard will be around for a while yet.

          A good compromise from my perspective as a programmer, 3D modeller and graphic designer, who uses multiple monitors, would be a dual fondleslab workstation with two 24" slabs (the size of my monitors) with one sitting where the keyboard normally sits, at a 45 degree angle like an art desk, and one up in front acting as a monitor. In 3D modelling mode, the art-desk slab would be the tri-view modelling interface, and the monitor slab would be the render display; in programming mode, the desk slab would become a nice big keyboard and the monitor slab would be the IDE, and so forth.

          That sort of thing I could work with, perhaps. But I don't see anything like that happening soon. And trying to do what I do with a desktop, on a pissy little 7" - 10" fondleslab, ain't gonna happen.

    2. darklordsid

      Re: Colour me shocked

      Yes, a 25% contribution if you look at actual sales.

  3. Ian Johnston Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Prognostication

    As a result, consumers continued to opt for competitively priced tablets, particularly the new 7-inch devices.

    Seven inch devices, eh? The ones Mr Jobs said had too small a screen to be of any possible use - a claim repeated by his fan club at every possible opportunity, often using apps on their iPhones to broadcast their (received) opinions.

    1. El_Fev
      Thumb Down

      Re: Prognostication

      Couple of points .

      1) Apple created the market , with the likes of you saying it was a toy and would never take off, sounds like a woman's sanitary product etc. etc. ...sssshhhh there's a good lad.

      2) People get the 7" BECAUSE IT IS CHEAPER! , The bigger screen gives a better experience, but if it was a choice between the two at the same price, who do you think would win. you utter utter cretin.

      Now get back to crying over your galaxy note, while wishing you could afford a proper iPad you deluded little man

      1. Timmy B Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Prognostication

        Good lordy lord. Somebody got out of bed on the wrong side.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Prognostication

          I wouldn't say so. It is the response of someone who is irritated by asinine regtard comments. I read the first post and thought "Ian sounds like a typical ignorant fandroid. Comes out with utter shite to feel better about his own technology choices. How pathetic."

      2. phr0g

        Re: Prognostication

        Give me a 10" Galaxy Note over a glorified app launcher with the wrong shaped screen any day. Even if the note cost more.

      3. Tegne
        Thumb Down

        Re: Prognostication

        My wife has not used her PC since November when I got her a Nexus 7. That thing goes with her everywhere as it's an ideal size. But I can tell you this - there's no way she'd be lugging a 10" tablet in her bag.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Prognostication

        @El_Fev

        The convenience of the 7" format should not be underestimated - my wife has gone off to her Uni's summer school with my 7" Nook HD in preference to her 10" Galaxy Tab 2. In every way other than screen res the Tab2 is a better product, so the form factor must be the reason for her preference.

        Aside: Last year after listening to her talk of what she wanted, I took her to the big JL in Oxford Street. A 7" tablet looked like a good fit, and the iPad mini had just been released. So she would be able to compare the iPad mini against Nexus 7, Kindle Fire, and Galaxy Tab 7". I thought she would go for the iPad mini, but she preferred the 10" Tab2.

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Re: Prognostication

          The missus was an iFan early adopter. She had her iPad1 probably before a lot of the fanboys here even ever saw one. Once she saw my 7" Tab2 she was immediately hooked and dumped all of her Apple products. While it was true that it was an impulse buy because of it's price, the price tag had nothing to do with the larger device with the fruity logo being immediately DUMPED.

          Apple (and fanboys) showed open contempt for end users with a shred of independent thought or creativity and was soundly proven wrong.

          1. El_Fev

            Re: Prognostication

            Your lying , your missus dumped off 500 pounds worth of iPad for a smaller Tab 2. pull the other one its got bells on you lying git!

            1. JEDIDIAH
              Linux

              Re: Prognostication

              > Your lying , your missus dumped off 500 pounds worth of iPad for a smaller Tab 2.

              Like I said. Not everyone wants the same black Model-T.

              Contrary to the opinion of the fascists-in-denial, one size does not fit all.

              Apple is not "inevitable". We don't have to turn the iPad into the next MS-DOS.

        2. El_Fev
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Prognostication

          Well its true when given a woman has a choice between 7" and 10" .... sorry couldn't resist :) lol

      5. csumpi
        Stop

        Re: Prognostication

        " People get the 7" BECAUSE IT IS CHEAPER! "

        BS. People get the 7" because it's portable and easier to hold than the 10". The 7" fits in my coat or back pocket. It's also not an ergonomic design disaster like the 10" (especially 10" with metal case that has edges to create cut marks), so my wrist doesn't feel like it's going to break after 10 minutes of use.

        1. El_Fev

          Re: Prognostication

          Again your lying , you do not putt 7" tablet in your back pocket, it barley fits in a coat pocket. I know because I have a kindle touch, and that barely fits in my trouser pocket and that's only because I'm massive! Over 5 Inches goes in a bag, and if you have problems holding an ipad with your wrist I suggest you go to a gym once in a while! sweet jesus

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Prognostication

            My 7" tablet-Nexus 7- fits into the front pocket on my jeans. Even while I'm wearing them. Not particularly comfy, but doesnt stop me walking round Tesco, work, etc. Same with my Galaxy Note- that's actually perfectly pocket sized.

            And as you brought up your size, I've got an entirely reasonable 36-inch waist. So no parachute-like pockets here.

            A 10" tablet would be thoroughly impractical if you want to carry it, though it's probably nicer to use around the house.

      6. David 138

        Re: Prognostication

        i bought a 7" because it was smaller for reading and carrying around. If i wanted a weighty lump to carry around i would have bought a laptop....or an ipad.

        But a tablet is for quick jobs, anything more like ordering, typing chatting is a chore. PCs still have their place and will recover but it is a little slow at the moment. There is no new hardware for gamers, businesses are downsizing so don't need any and alot of people are buying the newest toys e.g tablets.

        The real question is will anyone buy another tablet?

      7. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: Prognostication

        > People get the 7" BECAUSE IT IS CHEAPER! , The bigger screen gives a better experience,

        No. The 7" screen gives you a better experience depending on your use case.

        Contrary to popular fascist opinion, people are different. One size really does not fit all. There is room (nay desire) for more than one option in the market. Not everyone wants the same black Model-T.

        Inherently cheaper devices only serve as a "gateway drug" to clue people in that they don't need to be a slave to one particular brand.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Not Fascists...

          ...it's the commies screaming that 7" screen is the best and everyone else is stupid for disagreeing with them.

      8. paulll

        Re: Prognostication

        I have a 7" tablet because IT FITS IN MY POCKET YOU UTTER UTTER CRETIN. As I've said before around here, a 10" tablet requires some kind of bag which will just as easily carry a laptop which obviates a 10" tablet.

        Jobs was an industrial designer in the same way as Colin and fucking Justin are interior designers.

        1. Don Jefe
          Happy

          Re: Prognostication

          Do you mean interior designers or decorators? Just curious.

        2. John L Ward
          Pint

          Re: Prognostication

          Wow.

          Chill.

        3. elderlybloke
          Happy

          Re: Prognostication

          Hello paulll

          Please Sir don't get your tits in a tangle over this.

          It is only some bits of shiny metal that you play with to pass the time.

          Don't worry-be Happy.

          TTFN

          1. paulll
            Happy

            Re: Prognostication

            @elderlybloke - Don't worry, my tits are decidely non-tangled. The shouty bit was parodying el_fev, the rest was casual observation with a bit of casual swearing chucked-in 'cos it's fun.

    2. Anonymous Coward 15

      It's not the size

      It's how you use it.

      1. Cipher
        Joke

        Re: It's not the size

        Correct, the magic is in the way the wand is waved, not how large it is...

  4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Hooksie

      Re: Erosion of PC market could be a death spiral

      A lot of truth in there but a lot of balls too. MS make money every time an Android device is shipped so they could have quite a healthy revenue stream just from that. I agree thought that PC sales falling even a little, never mind the tumble they are taking, means that it won't be worth the time and effort of OEMs to build them.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. Bod
      WTF?

      Re: Erosion of PC market could be a death spiral

      Quicken? !

      Last time you used any form of PC or saw what "professionals" or businesses actually use was...?

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: Erosion of PC market could be a death spiral

        > Quicken? !

        >

        > Last time you used any form of PC or saw what "professionals" or businesses actually use was...?

        Quickbooks is very much entrenched in the small business sector. Accountants use it and you need to be compatible with your accountant. It's the corporate equivalent of Quicken. The claim was poorly stated but essentially true.

        If not Quickbooks then some similar alternative will be used and likely require something other than a Tivo user interface.

  5. Babbit55

    Hybrids

    You have to wonder what these hybrid devices count as. I am actually quite keen on something like a Asus Vivopad smart though it would need significantly more HDD space to replace my work machine.

    1. phr0g
      Thumb Up

      Re: Hybrids

      I thought that too.

      I *need* a new tablet as my Samsung 8.9 is going to a sprog :)

      I want one with a 10+ " screen, preferably at least fullHD and definitely one with an OS with true multi-usewr support.

      That leaves me with Windows 8 (or possibly Linux on a Nexus 10, but then there is no warranty).

      So I am toying with the idea of the likes of the Acer W700 or Lenovo Yoga 13. I have until September to decide :)

      1. paul 97

        Re: Hybrids

        doesn't the android update 4.2 add multi user support on tablets?

        Still - I'd love a proper linux on a tablet.

        1. Babbit55

          Re: Hybrids

          I was playing with the Asus w510, seems like a nice piece of kit, maybe on the small side at 10.1in though I am not sure I would want much larger for what is really designed to be a portable device

        2. phr0g

          Re: Hybrids

          "doesn't the android update 4.2 add multi user support on tablets?

          Still - I'd love a proper linux on a tablet."

          It does.

          But access to downloaded apps is per google account. So ultimately useless. I want to be able to download games and apps with my account, and also allow my kids (and SWMBO) to use them, without access to my mail or purchases.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hybrids

        phr0g me too need something 10+" by September. The current £799 for the 128G Surface pro +£99 for touch cover is too pricy but if I can get something similar with longer battery life from Haswell etc, for me the benefit of x86 apps is the killer feature over iPad or Android. Will be interesting to see what Lenovo are doing with upcoming models, I can't see this £900 for a detachable notebook lasting very long.

  6. Rogue Jedi

    Tablet Persional Computers (a more legitamate use of the term than the Family PC, as tablets are usually persional, primaraly used by a single persion) are outselling Desktop and notebook PCs, ok but is that a victory for Jobs, apple has a 40% share, android has 59% (and Steve Jobs violently hated android).

    this looks to me more like a victory for Google

  7. Neil B
    Go

    I'm a textbook case with my own consumption over the years moving from my tower -> laptop -> netbook -> Nexus tab. The phone is good but only when I don't have access to the tablet.

    But, I still need my tower for any serious work (design, programming, business docs, etc.), and of course any serious gaming, along with the Xbox. So really, you could say that the PC space is shedding those consumers who never actually needed a PC in the first place.

    Doesn't change the numbers, though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > you could say that the PC space is shedding those consumers who never actually needed a PC in the first place

      You absolutely hit the nail on the head, there... whether they go to Apple or an Android, these folk radiate a "wow, this is what I always wanted my PC to be like" glow.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The Glow

        I'll have to agree with this sentiment. It is not that people don't need PC's, it is that a certain segment of current PC users don't need a PC - they want the access to the WWW and email, maybe one or two other things like music services, video chat or Facebook, but in reality just want a touch of the functionality of a PC but really don't want to be "bothered" by the technology itself. They just want a closed, no maintenance, no-thought consumer box that spits out the modest amount of functional power that they need and does not require an investment in time to learn or maintain.

        These types of people jumped on the PC bandwagon out of necessity but not choice - they wanted the abilities but the PC was the only way. They are barely functionally literate on PC even after all this time.

        The tablet is perfect for those unwashed masses. But to say that the PC is extinct...yeah. Sure. The hundreds of MILLIONS of PC running business and industry throughout the world will certainly disappear when tablets become just a bit more powerful [/sarcasm]. Get real: consumer market and business market are two completely different things. Business must justify an expenditure so upgrading is not frequent - we are simply in an business upgrade lull right now, Windows 8 is not enticing enough to invest in considering that the Windows 7 integration was still going on when Windows 8 arrived.

      2. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Monopoly based mental block.

        > You absolutely hit the nail on the head, there... whether they go to Apple or an Android, these folk radiate a "wow, this is what I always wanted my PC to be like" glow.

        This has more to do with the fact that it isn't Windows than anything else. People have had this long established mental block encouraged by Lemming FUD. Everyone was conned into believing that PC equals DOS and Windows. Most users would have been better off served with something NOT from Microsoft. Yet the monopoly feedback loop and constant propaganda made everyone feel trapped.

        Tablets offered a fresh start with a product that superficially seems different than everything else.

        It allows people to get past the idea they can use only one brand of OS.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Monopoly based mental block.... I think not

          @JEDEDIAH

          > This has more to do with the fact that it isn't Windows than anything else.

          Unfortunately not in my experience. I've tried very hard to get friends and colleagues to use Linux, and the experience for those who gave it a go was pretty much a mixed bag. They appreciated the improved stability but struggled with the learning curve and especially the document format complications. I certainly didn't see the kind of revelatory excitement that is associated with tablet-discovery - and I think the underlying reason is that a Linux box is a general-purpose computer & with power always comes complexity and a a learning curve.

          Especially for a non-technical end user, they need to filter out the many features that are not useful or relevant to them - Apple pretty much did that already with the iThings and Android is just conforming to that pattern, hence the tablet "wow".

          In the past I *have* seen new Mac users surprised by the superior usability of a Mac, but particularly pre-OSX there was a price to pay in loss of flexibility and generality compared to Linux and Windows.

          1. JEDIDIAH
            Linux

            Re: Monopoly based mental block.... I think not

            Before the rise of the tablets, I would have had a problem just plain GIVING a Mac to a stubborn low impact WinDOS user. The brand fixation with Microsoft was a near impenetrable barrier. Now dumping Microsoft products seems a lot easier for them. I suspect that's due to tablets successfully displacing PCs.

            Suddenly it's not all Microsoft products anymore.

            The times, they are a changing...

    2. Amorous Cowherder
      Pint

      Is it not diversity as you've suggested in you references to lots of technology? Are we seeing more diversified use, ie horses for courses?

      I was a PC fanatic but I find that an XBOX does fine for my gaming, the PC for my photo editing and uploading to sharing/stock sites and practically everything else is on my tablet, including checking on my social networks and general browsing. Slouch on the sofa, tablet up and running in seconds flat and you're chatting to Auntie Doris in Oz on Facebook, while watching an episode of something on TV or possibly in another window on the tablet itself.

      We have so much more choice of device now, ones designed to perform certain tasks perfectly, the PC is not the one-size-fits-all it used to be and is therefore fighting to maintain our attention when it comes to upgrade time. We often can't afford to upgrade all items at once, the manufacturers are cutting great deals on cheap tablets so being savvy consumers we're upgrading those while the prices are reasonably good.

  8. Tim 11
    FAIL

    but which has the bigger installed base

    most people here seem to be overlooking the simple fact that the reason not many people bought a laptop last year isn't because they don't want one any more; it's because they already have one

    1. Justice
      Meh

      Re: but which has the bigger installed base

      You beat me to it.

      I upgrade my system every 2-3 years rather than buy a new PC.

      Who seriously buys a new PC every year?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: but which has the bigger installed base

      No Tim. The notebook market has been mature for years. I would guess most users are now on anything from a 4th to an 8th machine. So the market has for long been settled down into a steady state of renewal purchases. In a mature market like this, a reduction in sales, is a reduction in sales, is a reduction in sales. Those sales rates are never coming back again. Sure the many customers may purchase another laptop at some point. But with tablets serving the needs of the average punter so well, their desire and motivation to do so has decreased considerably and the upgrade cycle will be far, far longer than it was before.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: but which has the bigger installed base

        No, the average age of a notebook has been increasing over the last few years so the replacement rate has been declining for years. To some extent this has been counterbalanced by more notebooks per household and some brand new users but now we are approaching saturation hence the net decline.

        When my son started primary school ten years ago, there was a survey showing fewer than 40% of children had access to PC and internet at home. Now he is at secondary school, a PC (Windows or Mac) at home is assumed and less than 4% or children don't have access to the tech at home and need to do homework at school after hours or whatever. Incidentally tablets don't meet all of this need so still a huge part of the household demographic requiring PC tech.

        If detachables/hybrids take off, we might see a decline of the 10" tablet and a return to PC tech, who knows.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 8 destroyed the PC>

    Sorry...

    1. Phoenix50
      Stop

      Re: Windows 8 destroyed the PC>

      No, it didn't, hasn't and won't.

      Microsoft could have not bothered with Windows 8 and we'd be up to Windows 7 Service Pack 3 by now - it would have made no a single jot of difference:

      People don't refresh their computers every year

      Content consumption devices are plugging gaps in "need" for most, hence the rise of the tablet

      Technology is moving from a capital expenditure model to a subscription based one - though admittedly not with Windows (yet).

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      2. phr0g

        Re: Windows 8 destroyed the PC>

        "No, it didn't, hasn't and won't."

        Totally agree.

        My desktop is ancient...upgraded bit by bit every year or so.

        My laptop is 30 months old, but an i7 with a fast GPU (Asus G73). That will last at least another couple of years.

        PCs and laptops have peaked. They don't need to be any more powerful. They have batteries that can be replaced.

        Slabs on the other hand mostly don't have a replaceable battery (which WILL die) and a small amount of storage and memory. They are in their infancy and improving hugely all the time.

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. 1Rafayal
            FAIL

            Re: Windows 8 destroyed the PC>

            You really dont have a clue, do you?

            Are you really blaming the release of Windows 8 for the drop in PC sales?

            A lot of comments here mention that they use their tablets/smartphones for consumption of online things, like Facebook. Why go to all the bother of sitting in front of your PC when you can lie on the sofa checking your Facebook on a tablet? Or your smart phone?

            If Windows 8 really is the reason why the PC market has slumped and if Microsofts stranglehold on this market is so weak, why isnt the Open Source community doing everything it can to fill the gaps with alternatives? And promote them to the masses?

            Penguinistas must be overjoyed to have you as a poster boy...

            1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

              1. 1Rafayal

                Re: Windows 8 destroyed the PC>

                So the slump in the market has nothing to do with consumption devices, like tablets and smartphones then.

      3. Daniel B.
        Facepalm

        Windows 8 did tank PC sales.

        "No, it didn't, hasn't and won't.

        Microsoft could have not bothered with Windows 8 and we'd be up to Windows 7 Service Pack 3 by now - it would have made no a single jot of difference:"

        But it did. Sales for PCs show a steady decline, then a sharp downturn right after win8 came out. Mostly it happens at the point where all the remaining Win7 stock sold out, and everything was slapped with Windows 8. That was when PC sales went down the drain!

  10. Another Justin

    Isn't this mostly just down to people buying their first tablet?

    I'd imagine that most customers buying PCs aren't buying their first PC, they are replacing an existing one. Now that the rate of improvements of PC hardware has slowed customers don't need to replace their PCs as frequently - a 2-3 year old PC is still perfectly usable (even for some gaming).

    Conversely I'd speculate that most tablet buyers are either buying their first tablet, replacing one that they smashed, or buying one as a present.

    I'll be interested to see what happens to tablet sales in a couple of years from now when most people already have one - do people replace tablets more often than PCs? How many people will actually replace their PC with a tablet and how many will just use both?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Isn't this mostly just down to people buying their first tablet?

      Yes, we have a 6 year old family notebook (updated to Win7) still fine for most everyday purposes.

      People will be definitely replacing the current tablet efforts (with their non-replaceable batteries) fairly quickly. I doubt many iPad 1s have long to go and its only 3 years since they came on the scene.

  11. John Robson Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Post PC...

    My family now live in a post PC house - we have a combination of iOS and Android devices, and they serve our needs very well. If I'm being open then I also have a Linux server (Network services, including VPN) and a FreeNAS - but those are using old hardware to do the job of an appliance.

    Pages and Keynote on the iPad are a bit limited compared with their PC versions, but they still do the job well for the professional author/speaker in the family. Google docs serve personal documentation needs quite well on both sides of the OS fence.

    The one thing we can't do at the moment... manage music on the iPod classic.

    I'd happily pay £30 (seems to be the going rate) for a dongle to connect the iPad to the iPod and manage it's music that way (remember the FreeNAS box for central storage), but for some reason it's not an option.

    Pretty much that one single requirement is going to push us into buying a PC, which will (almost certainly) be a mac mini (our first ever mac) - so I guess they have their marketing right, or rather MS have it SO badly wrong...

    PS - Yes I could probably use gtkPod or equivalent, but to achieve a sustainable WAF it has to be iTunes...

  12. Alistair MacRae
    Unhappy

    Isn't this a bad thing for the industry?

    With people moving away from laptops and desktops to tablets, doesn't this hurt the IT industry in some ways?

    Laptops and Desktops have replicable parts that users/technicians can repair/upgrade. Tablets are not like that there's nothing modular to them and very little in their range of accessories.

    All the companies that sprung up around PCs barely get any benefit from tablets do they?

    I guess a change over to tablet is just the natural step in the end. With processing power and miniaturising of the tech and cloud services there's less of a need for a big computer in the home.

    PCs get upgraded and replaced because they need to run new software and right now other than gaming there's not much around that a typical consumer can get now that really needs a computer under 2 or 3 years old.

    If there was something big to come out that required more processing power than a tablet can provide it'd swing back.

    1. Tom 11

      Re: Isn't this a bad thing for the industry?

      Short answer, No.

      Long answer, as mentioned a couple of posts up, these numbers are surely caused by poeple buying their first tablet. The PC market will decline marginally, probably to the levels of sale 6 or 7 years ago when there were no alternatives for computing other than a full blown PC. The market for workstations will always be alive, wether it be for home user who actually want to be able to edit documents / manage data / image manipulation / wank over decent size pair or tits, with at least some ease of use or if it's in the workplace where anyone who honestly thinks they will get any sort of productivity out anything other than a workstation, it will not simply be replaced by what is essentially a computing periferal.

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: Isn't this a bad thing for the industry?

        > , it will not simply be replaced by what is essentially a computing periferal.

        The "terminal" will not die. People will still need to compute on devices with "old fashioned" inputs. They may go back to being "business machines" but they won't go away entirely.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "They [tablets] can be docked with a keyboard, mouse and monitor. In other words, there is no need for a PC any more."

    Of all people, I didn't expect you to sing along to what M$ wants to make us believe. Tablet with monitor, keyboard, and mouse? Like the Surface perhaps?

    1. Babbit55

      My Nexus 7 has a keyboard case, no need for a mouse really though with the touch screen though you could use one

    2. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      Grave to cradle.

      > Of all people, I didn't expect you to sing along to what M$ wants to make us believe. Tablet with monitor, keyboard, and mouse? Like the Surface perhaps?

      I could see some future more open tablet device docking to my KVM switch and being the equal of any of my older conventional PCs. That's not the direction were vendors are trying to direct things now but there's no reason it can't happen.

      Most of the problem with tablets is bad policy imposed by short sighted platform megalomaniacs.

  14. t20racerman
    Linux

    Why buy a PC?

    Although undoubtedly Windows 8 has been a failure in the marketplace (plummeting PC sales since its release shows this, as clearly explained above by others) the market place has changed for good, just at around the same time that Microsoft F'ed up with W8. I'm the typical poster here - IT nerd and the one everyone I know goes to to have PCs fixed and advice about new computers. I always analyse carefully what people actually want - not what they THINK they want - and I can honestly say I've not recommended they buy a PC for a couple of years now. In most cases an old PC could be upgraded cheaply to do what they needed, and then it used to be that a notebook could be bought for portable use. However, this has now changed and, partly because of the nightmare of Windows 7 Starter edition, but mostly because Tablets are just SO good, everyone I have advised recently has bought a Tablet instead. Very few home users need a desktop PC for anything other than office stuff and photos. Clearly the real geek needs more than that, but I'm talking 'normal' users here.

    Personally I needed more than a tablet to use on the go recently and rather than buy a laptop, I got an old one that work was throwing out, put Linux Mint on it and use that when my tablet or PC aren't the best options. My PC too is an old throwout, upgraded by myself. It runs linux as the main OS but I can dual boot to XP if I need iTunes (hate it!) or Photoshop, which I can't get to run under Wine, sadly. I don't give a rat's arse about XP not being supported soon as a rarely boot up into it, and have very little chance of it getting infected by anything.

    So, will I ever pay the Microsoft Tax again? No! As for friends and family, I think very rarey either. It isn't all Windows 8's fault by a long chalk, but coming out with that rubbish at this particular moment in time has been a real disaster for Microsoft and its hardware partners.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Steve Jobs did not kill off the PC.

    After the banking debacles and countries going into almost unrecoverable debt, no one has 1500 Pounds to spend on a PC. They are feeding their families instead.

    It's the economy, stupid.

  16. Fihart

    The home desktop PC.

    I rely on the easy repair and upgrade aspects of the PC to keep vaguely in step with the technology without actually buying anything (at least not new as there are car boot sales for parts and PCs get dumped on the street around here).

    But, every friend who has recently replaced a computer has bought a laptop -- some have added a tablet. Even I now have a fairly new laptop (repaired using found parts).

    Much as I love my desktop, it's obvious they are any old iron these days.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The home desktop PC.

      "Much as I love my desktop, it's obvious they are any old iron these days"

      For several years my daily couch computing needs have been satisfied by a second hand 12" Dell D400 on XP - with the screen cloned to a 19" tft. that doesn't need me to use reading glasses. That's all old technology. The laptop is in the process of being replaced by a second hand Dell E6410 on W7 - only three years old.

      Every few days the big PC gets powered up to do archiving, web maintenance, code development, or serious picture work. Its XP system been evolving for years - currently it is on a Core i7 870 platform.

      Soon it will have be reinstalled onto W7 64bit OS - and the PC's 16GB might finally be useful. However - even the latest versions of some home applications are still 32bit eg Photoshop elements 11.

      A test move to an Asus Nvidia 660 OC graphics card today was disappointing. 3DMark 06 benchmarks were 5% down on an EVGA Nvidia 570. Using the latest drivers the 3DMark 03 crashed on the second test - a problem that has been seen for at least three years with Nvidia 275 and 520 graphics cards. Most annoying - as that means some games won't run unless ancient drivers are used. Nivida 260, 280, and 570 have no problem using the latest drivers with that benchmark.

      Currently there is no niche for a tablet in my home needs. When I'm out walking the low-tech mobile is carried for emergencies. I like to see where I'm going so that collisions with phone/tablet zombies can be avoided.

  17. tempemeaty
    Happy

    Balance of computing

    I see the fondle-slab as an expansion and diversification of the computing ecosystem. Unfortunately that means more devices sharing the same money pool but doesn't mean one is replacing the other. Each has distinctive purposes and uses that the other can't properly accommodate. So to me this isn't one replacing the other but more of everything finding a new balance.

  18. ptmmac
    Headmaster

    Denson Scaling anyone?

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/headmaster_32.png

    This is a tech site isn't it? Some of the above have commented on the lack of need of a new computer, but no one has named the real cause of all this drop in PC shipments. The tablet could never have happened if the frequency of cpu's had continued to scale with each die shrink as Denson postulated. This stopped in 2004 and we have had all kinds of effects from it. The lower power envelope of cell phones has meant that Denson scaling continued for a much longer time with regards to low power cpu designs. A cell phone Cpu in 2004 was no threat to replace an intel chip in any fashion. On the other hand, we now have Intel dropping the frequency and cores in their flagship chips to reach down and compete with Apple and the other ARM licensees. The newest of these ARM chips are just getting to the 2.5 GHz level which was where the mainstream was when Intel hit the 4Ghz ceiling with its failed netburst technology back in 2003 or 4.

    So why do we no longer need a new computer? We don't need one because Denson scaling is no longer making your old box too slow to be good enough. Steve didn't kill the PC. Denson did it in the cloak room with a good old fashioned heat problem.

  19. mark l 2 Silver badge

    For most home consumers and businesses a 4 or 5 year old PC or laptop will have just about enough RAM, CPU power and hard drive storage to do the mainstream office, internet, email and video playback tasks that they need them for.

    I am personally running a 5 or 6 year old 2ghz dual core Dell laptop and apart from upping the RAM to 4GB its still stock configue as i don't do video editing or play games that require i have a quad cores and 16GB RAM it does everything i want it to do.

    So i forsee lot of people like me not buying a new computer until something breaks or some new software comes out that requires more resources than their current computer has.

  20. Don Jefe
    Meh

    Touchscreen PC's

    We have a new Windows 8 touchscreen PC in our lobby. I hate it. It has nothing to do with Windows 8 (which i don't like either) it's just that if you're doing anything with it you couldn't do with a tablet your arms are waving about like a lunatic and if you get it close enough that you can rest your elbows on your chair then the monitor is so close you can almost see through to the backside. Plus you get smudges all over the screen and it looks like a toddler has been set loose on the desk.

    I think that's why the things don't sell, not because of the OS but because they are awkward to use.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    6 inch phone anyone?

    I went for the 6inch phone format for traveling convenience. The format fits my pockets and the screen shape is more convenient than the mini ipad.. Good for casual browsing and email, reasonable battery life, two sims, easy charging and takes her music collection on 32G of memory. Chinese of course.

    The PCs remain for serious home use with 24hr operation for convenience, but wont be upgraded from Ubuntu 10.4 and XP2 for the forseeable future. The Ubuntu netbook is on borrowed time!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    re: Steve Jobs beyond the grave ..

    Enough with the dead Steve Jobs trope ..

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