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PC Sales Grew Despite Naysayers and Tablets
PC Sales Grew Despite Naysayers and Tablets

By Jennifer LeClaire
December 30, 2013 1:26PM

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Chromebooks accounted for 21 percent of all notebook sales in 2013, up from a negligible share in the prior year, according to The NPD Group. NPD is referring to its commercial data, which is what businesses are buying as opposed to consumer sales. That helps explain the relatively high share of Chromebooks, said analyst Ross Rubin.

Despite a fair dose of doom and gloom, 2013 was a big year for the computer industry. Through November 2013, 14.4 million desktops, notebooks, and tablets were sold through U.S. commercial channels, according to The NPD Group’s Distributor Track and Commercial Reseller Tracking Service.

That 14.4 million is a 25.4 percent increase over 2012. NPD called it a “stellar performance” that follows the 3.1 percent sales increase the industry posted the year before. In addition NPD reported that desktop sales through the channel increased 8.5 percent, notebook sales grew 28.9 percent, and tablet sales jumped 49 percent over the same time period in 2012.

Were the PC doom predictors wrong? Or is the death of PCs just a little farther off?

Windows, Apple Notebooks Dip

“The market for personal computing devices in commercial markets continues to shift and change,” said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD. “New products like Chromebooks, and reimagined items like Windows tablets, are now supplementing the revitalization that iPads started in personal computing devices. It is no accident that we are seeing the fruits of this change in the commercial markets as business and institutional buyers exploit the flexibility inherent in the new range of choices now open to them.”

Let’s take a closer look at the numbers. According to NPD, Windows notebooks showed no growth over 2012. Sales were flat. However, Windows desktops increased by nearly 10 percent. Meanwhile, Apple sales for notebooks and desktops combined fell by 7 percent.

What’s going on? Chromebooks and tablets continue making their mark. Chromebooks, and Android tablets collectively, had the biggest impact on sales growth, with 1.76 million units going through the channel from January through November 2013, compared to just 400,000 units in 2012.

Chromebooks accounted for 21 percent of all notebook sales, up from a negligible share in the prior year, and 8 percent of all computer and tablet sales through November, up from one tenth of a percent in 2012 -- the largest share increase across the various product segments.

Tablet sales captured more than 22 percent of all personal computing device sales sold through the commercial channel through November, Windows tablet sales nearly tripled off a very small base. Android tablet sales grew more than 160 percent. Apple iPad sales accounted for 59 percent of the volume in the tablet market.

Windows Flailing?

HP led commercial personal computing devices. But even with a 6 percent increase in total notebook sales its small exposure to the booming tablet market drove its share down, NPD observes. (continued...)

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Tell Us What You Think



Posted: 2014-01-01 @ 5:08pm PT
I wonder if Chomebooks will take the same fast rise as Android did on both smartphones and tablets? Or are Android laptops coming soon to do that as well? One thing is for certain, Ballmer in his infinite wisdom decided to force a tablet UI on desktop users and some users sought out better alternatives. Chromebooks and Macs both share an almost total lack of malware and problems that Windows users can only dream about. With Chromebooks you get excellant quality at a price that will allow you to buy 6 chromebooks for the price of one entry Mac OS X laptop. You don't have to believe me, just look on Amazon or Newegg and read the reviews from confirmed buyers, and then compare those to buyers that bought W8 software.


Posted: 2013-12-31 @ 4:13am PT
Replacing a Windows PC with a Chrome book is like a sugar-holic having all his teeth pulled. Thanks to use there were infection filled cavities between teeth down to the root. The only way to avoid infection in the jawbone was extraction. Hard drives loaded with software are malware locations that have no business chewing data that can be premasticated in sizes that exceed PC capability. Moreover, ubiquitous 802.11ac makes response time for a thin client faster than some underpowered offline PC. Even a Mac Pro with its heat engineered circular 'tower' can't compete. Nevertheless, hobbyists, like HO scale train enthusiasts will keep them in their basements for generations.

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