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PC sales fall of cliff, again

Shipments down 14% in Q1

The PC slump seems to be getting even worse. According to the latest figures released by IDC and Gartner, PC sales dropped 14 percent in Q1. Basically it was the worst quarter ever.

Analysts are pinning the blame for the downturn on tablets and Windows 8. As an increasing number of PC users is getting tablets, they are using their old x86 boxes quite a bit less. As a result, they are not upgrading their PCs, hence the traditional upgrade cycle has gone out the window.

Fewer upgrades and less frequent upgrades are the norm, and it seems that consumers are simply holding out for something better, like touch enabled Windows 8 ultrabooks. Average selling prices for PCs remain stubbornly high, while tablet prices are tumbling.

Worse, Chinese consumers don’t appear to be buying PCs as their primary machines. These first-time buyers are opting for tablets instead.

The trend is hardly surprising. The PC hasn’t evolved much over the past few years. Smartphones are already shipping with 1080p screens, which is practically the same resolution PC buyers get on their 24-inch monitors and high-end notebooks. Touchscreens? They’re not exactly mainstream yet and they won’t be anytime soon.

To make things worse Windows 8 really doesn’t bring any compelling reasons to upgrade. While Apple and Google offer regular OTA updates and major revisions every year, Microsoft doesn’t exactly do the same for its desktop OS, which costs an arm and a leg.

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