iPad 2: Inhibitor of PC Growth

Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner:

Weak demand for consumer PCs was the biggest inhibitor of growth. Low prices for consumer PCs, which had long stimulated growth, no longer attracted buyers. Instead, consumers turned their attention to media tablets and other consumer electronics. With the launch of the iPad 2 in February, more consumers either switched to buying an alternative device, or simply held back from buying PCs. We’re investigating whether this trend is likely to have a long-term effect on the PC market.

Worldwide PC shipments declined 1.1% Y/Y to 84.3 million units, and the iPad 2 is the culprit. Folks that never had a PC their entire lives are buying iPads. Folks with multiple PCs are buying iPads. Another factor is that most PCs that are being used are quite serviceable and will be for quite some time. If you think you need a new PC upgrade instead: change out the hard drive for a SSD and add some extra RAM. These upgrades will cost less, resurrect your old PC, and you’ll be helping the environment. Will the iPad and other tablets have long-term effects on the PC market? You bet.