back to article Gartner: RIP PCs - tablets will CRUSH you this year

PC sales are in terminal decline thanks to the continued popularity of tablets and there’s nothing an anticipated surge in ultramobiles can do to stop it. That’s according to beancounters at Gartner, who reckon the outcome will be anaemic growth rates for Microsoft’s Windows in 2013 as Google’s Android blows the doors off. …


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  1. Jess

    makes sense

    A tablet for general use, plus a desktop computer (which could be 7 years old) for occasional use provides what the majority of people need, and people have woken up to this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: makes sense

      One of my non-technical friends is probably the typical case: she has an iPad and that has become her primary device, and then only boots her Windows 7 laptop reluctantly (while cursing its piss-poor speed as the various AV stuff kiks in and sucks) in order to run iTunes for syncing or updating it.

      I can see her buying another iPad, but not another laptop for a LONG time.

    2. Brangdon

      Re: makes sense

      Plus perhaps a console, for more serious game playing. For many home users, it's the desire to play demanding games that drives the purchase, or upgrade, of a new PC every few years. Next year we'll have a new generation of consoles, and I'd expect those to eat into home PCs even more. (Admittedly some people will always prefer keyboard and mouse over hand-held controller.)

      1. Magister

        Re: makes sense

        I have to say that it's not just about game playing. There are more than a few areas where a tablet / slate (of any OS) simply is not the right tool for the job.

        I think that we will see a blurring of the lines between the devices, but the PC still has a future, at least until around the time that I am likely to retire (just under 10 years). After that, I suspect that Gartner will be teeling everyone about the potential demise of the tablet or other manually operated devices as it gets replaced by voice activated computing.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: makes sense

      Microsoft have by far the best OS for touch and gesture based computing in Windows 8, and the best eco -system with a unified interface across desktop, laptop, tablet, Xbox and phone. Plus they are mostly (except for Xbox Next?) based on a unified kernel, which is highly scalable from low to high end and is very efficient - for instance windows Phone is faster and more fluid than an Android device that has twice the RAM and CPU cores.

      Gartner are likely right in that Microsoft will suffer a dip in the short term, but they are best positioned in the long term. Touch and gesture is clearly the future....and Microsoft are ahead of the crowd.

      1. mmeier

        Re: makes sense

        Yes, MS has a mighty fine ecosystem all the way from low powered/long duration (Atom) to mid-level (core-i ULV) to full-powered (core-i desktop) tablet/convertible units available. Add in mature software for using pens (that are coming back strong - see stuff like JotPro for iThingy or the Note series) and stuff like speech recognition that does not need the GMail man / Grandpa Jobs listening in (And works even on the Atoms) and mid-term they have the best package. They've been doing tablet pc for more than a decade.

        Even more so since the same stuff also works on desktop maschines so the handwritten document from MS-Journal can be watched and edited on say a Dell desktop (Try that with SNote!) and vice versa. Add (one of) the biggest pools of pen-useable software (Every MS desktop software works with a pen), near-perfect printer support and good central management software for the companie use as well as an open platform(1) unlike iOS/Android

        It will only have limited effects on iPads since they are bought for the "cool/hip" factor. But the more basic Android tablets will suffer. Even more so since they can not deliver certain features like multiple accounts(2), long term update/patch guarantees (Necessary for a notebook replacement) or just good printer support(3)

        (1) Modern needs special setup for a companie or the MS-store for privat use but Desktop is "just install"

        (2) No support until 4.2 (That is not out on a non-Google tablet yet) and limited / badly implemented on 4.2

        (3) A Samsung ML2010 works fine for my Windows and Solaris boxes using a 25€ printserver. Even the Samsung printer app does not support it under Android 4.x

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC 13:28

        At least the anonymous Google shills sound like they believe their own sales pitch....

      3. Daniel B.

        MS shills strike again

        "Microsoft have by far the best OS for touch and gesture based computing in Windows 8"


        Oh dear, both one of the zillion AC MS shills and mmeier, the MS evil Eadon clone.

        Realistically, Windows 8 might actually trigger a faster migration *outside* the MS ecosystem. People were already setting back new PC purchases; with the Fabulous Fred interface infesting all new PCs and Windows 7 off the shelves *and* MS site (both offer win8 only), consumers are put off.

        1. mmeier

          Re: MS shills strike again

          Unlike Pinguboy Eadon l actually have experience with a bakers dozend of operation systems and use " what works best" and not "what the guru dictates". It's just Linux that does not work best once the "it is cheap" argument is gone

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: makes sense by AC @ 13:36

        You forgot to login again, RICHTO.

    4. mmeier

      Re: makes sense

      Actually a tablet/hybrid for BOTH uses would make even more sense. Why own/carry/sync a whole zoo of units when one (maybe with a dock) can do it all? A nice long duration Atom with dock can replace Smartphone, iThingy/Fragmentdroid AND the typical "non gamer" home PC easily. Just add a "7 days between recharging" featurephone and you are good.

      1. Tom 38

        Re: makes sense

        A tablet that runs windows - real windows - isn't a tablet, it's a laptop that has no keyboard. It will behave like a laptop, get slower like a laptop, have shit software installed like a laptop.

        I've had to fix various family members issues with shitty ancient laptops for the last ten years. I've never had anyone ever ask me to do anything to fix an ipad.

        1. mmeier

          Re: makes sense

          Maybe you should learn a bit about Windows. Or stop installing that "cheap copy of x"...

          Windows boxes getting slower over time is a non-issue since XP (and was a non-issue for the NT-line before that).

          As for software quality - some of the crap delivered by Samsungs Android devices makes Win3.11 look like "best of breed"

          1. Tom 38

            Re: makes sense

            Maybe you should learn to read, it isn't me having the problems, it is people who expect me to fix their shit.

            They have no problems making windows run slower over time. Most of them even pay some dude called McAffee to do it for them.

            One of my relatives has an aged Vista machine, it takes about 10 minutes from pressing the power button to opening a browser and having the webpage displayed. Vista post-dates XP, no? In the NT line? Or is this one of the "Vista doesn't count" exclusions?

            1. mmeier

              Re: makes sense

              Nope, the "stupid admin" and "IT guy whio does not know how to teach the users" exclusions since a guy named Tom38 obviously is both. The really old PIV/Win XP box my dad uses since 2008 does NOT have the problems. Locked down nicely and with proper software instead of McAffee. Still runs and will do so until March 2014 when it gets switched for a HP Pavillon with Win8 (and I get a new box AND a decend Solaris system in the ole Dell Dimension)

          2. fandom

            Re: makes sense

            "Windows boxes getting slower over time is a non-issue since XP (and was a non-issue for the NT-line before that)."

            It wasn't an issue for win 2k but it certainly was for XP

            1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

              Me not buy Windows for a loooong time.

              > Microsoft have by far the best ...

              Sorry, the LAN interface disconnected.

              1. Chris Parsons

                Re: Me not buy Windows for a loooong time.


                Don't be silly.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: makes sense

            "Windows boxes getting slower over time is a non-issue since XP (and was a non-issue for the NT-line before that)."

            @mmeier: if only! I've got a VM of Windows 7 that does precisely one thing, it runs the vSphere client to manage a couple of ESXi boxes. It's had two pieces of software installed on it, the vSphere client and Firefox, Firefox is rarely used. The other day I got a warning that the disk was nearly full, hmm, strange, I gave it a 20GB disk to install on. It turns out that over 16GB of that was in c:\windows. Tell me again how Windows does not cruft itself up and get slower over time anymore?

            1. mmeier

              Re: makes sense

              You did read the "system requirements"? It says 16GB (32bit) / 20GB (64bit) right on the MS home page. So your setup is barely adequat. No wonder it gives a warning. As the Penguboys like to say RTFM!

    5. h3

      Re: makes sense

      A desktop for general use and other things to mess around with seems to be more common with the people I know. (I know I have a few fairly decent smartphones / a decent tablet / a 3DS XL / Nokia dumb phone with a week lasting battery / a few laptops (One fairly old ultra portable / a mobile workstation) / a desktop. Not including work devices that I don't use other than for work stuff. I use my desktop far more than anything else. The situation is fairly similar for most people I know (Other than some people use laptops not desktops). Maybe more people are buying ipad''s (And a few others).

      People don't like wasting their time. Older women in particular were likely taught typing in school. Ignoring the main time saving skill they have so they can have a tablet seems totally pointless. (Using a tablet with a keyboard means you need to deal with positioning it with the right case or sit at a desk / table anyway.)

      The famous iOS / Android games are nearly all absolute sh*te. (Some lesser known games / game ports / iOS apps are good.)

      Adware is awful on any platform (Be it Windows or anything else).

  2. nichomach

    Tablets will continue

    to sell loads until everyone who wants one has one. Then they'll drop off too. Make hay while the sun shines, slab shifters.

    1. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: Tablets will continue

      I think the demand for tablets, and other portable devices, will continue to rise in line with improved capabilities; at the moment the desktop PC doesn't really need to be any better than it already is in order to satisfy most people's requirements (obviously there will always be a small community pushing the envelope and demanding better PCs, but not the mainstream).

      Tablets, on the other hand, do need to get better (usability in daylight, battery life etc.) and as they are more likely to be carried around day-to-day, thrown in bags etc., there is more wear-and-tear than on desktops so there will be demand for improved devices and for replacement devices.

      1. mmeier

        Re: Tablets will continue

        Daylight usability could be easily achived - drop the fingerprint interface, use the pen only again

        Battery life is a "how much computing power do you need" thing. Atoms can do 10+ hours in a lightweight package good for most jobs and Baytrail will improve that. If you need more you get either reduced time (4-5h at 800-1000g) or a lot more weight (8-10h at 1600-2100g)

  3. Efros

    Not so much

    that the tablets will crush the PC, more that the PC has plateaued in terms of performance v software, i.e. there is little or no need to upgrade a 3 year old PC because it is still more than up to its task. Consequently users will spend their beer tokens on something else. If the PC manufacturers want to boost their sales someone has to come up with a real memory/processor hog of a killer app. The PCs are still out there, their tasks that tablets can do will be taken over by tablet wielding users but the PC will still be sitting there on the desktop when you need some real crunching to be done.

    1. spegru

      Re: Not so much

      I'd say that this really is PCs being crushed by tablets - hardly the performance v software thing at all.

      For so many years the PC was the only choice for an internet device (plus Macs for rich weirdos).

      Now there is choice people are choosing devices without bloated OSs and virus problems that slow down to a crawl after a few months. Currently these are tablets, the user experience having been established on phones. Increasingly it's also smart TVs, so actually I dont even think it's about portability.

      So fundamentally it's survival of the fittest and Windows PCs are too much trouble for (most) end users

      1. JEDIDIAH

        Re: Not so much

        ...except that tablets aren't PC replacements. They can manage some of the light duty media consumption that were exclusively the domain of PCs. Once you start pushing any kind of boundaries though, tablets quickly fall apart.

        Smart TVs are just a joke.

        What we have here is a lot of sales churn caused by immature tech. That is being mistaken for success. Last years tablet or Roku is missing key features or performance. Meanwhile, 6 year old PCs can manage to run circles around ARM based equivalents.

        Tablets are in the same part of their life cycle that PCs were in during the early 90s.

        1. mmeier

          Re: Not so much

          So what? Who needs ARM on a tablet? Cheap tablets / hybrids with Atom CPU can do the majority of jobs. Software development and complex image manipulation are (currently) the exception due to the 2GB memory restriction.

          More costly tablets/hybrids/convertibles with ULV or full powered core-i can do everything except high end egoshooters. Tablet PC are old, established technology in the Intel-sector.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not so much

        For most people any PC made since 2009 has far more functionality than most people need.

        More CPU, Disk and Ram than they really need for a bit of surfing, shopping and emails.

        Add a tablet into the mix and there is no compelling reason for people to upgrade their PC's.

        Most people Don't play FPS or MMORG games so one more there is no reason to upgrade their existing devices.

        Then think of things like Credit Crunch, lack of salary raises and less disposable income and once again there is little incentive to upgrade their existing systems as they simply can't afford it.

        Then Microsoft have shot themselves in both feet, legs and arms with Windows 8. I've seen people who were in the market for a new PC take one look at TIFKAM and go 'Thanks but no thanks. I can't use that.'

        In conclusion, there are a whole plethora of reasons why the PC market is shrinking. MS is in danger of becoming irrelevant to a whole generation of current PC users.

        {I have been writting Software since the days of Punched Cards and Paper Tape. I own a Tablet(Android) and several Laptops/MacBooks dating back to 2005 and all work. Strangely enough, I do most of my browsing on a 2009 13in MacBook. For my day job I write highly complex applications that run on Windows Server or Linux.}

    2. Jim O'Reilly

      Re: Not so much

      I think the cloud, with browser-based solutions, will fill the void for higher performance apps. Moreover, this model will substantially accelerate the decline of the PC desktop and mobile from 2014 on.

      The life-cycle of a tablet will be perhaps 50 percent longer than a PC, since performance gains in the browser-based model mainly occur on the server side. This isn't factored in the Gartner model, so the overall TAM may be flatter than they predict, and made up of more tablets and much less PC/notebook.

      The integration of TV, tablet and phone will also impact market structure. The potential for tablets to be used as smart TV remote controls should not be underestimated. It may give rise to a mini-tablet market of substantial size.

      1. mmeier

        Re: Not so much

        My prediction is that a year from now we will see quite a number of hybrids replacing notebooks and the older "toy tablets", mainly the Android units (Apple has the "hip" factor). Android (or whatever Samsung sells cheaply then) will be back to phones and Intels Atom and core-i chips will be the choice for most tablet devices again.

        Win8 will be on most of this new units in the privat space. It may not be the best tablet os nor the best desktop os but is does a fine work in both jobs and for hybrids that IS a mayor factor. The fact that it has tons of software that people know will help as well.

        RT will be dead unless MS unlocks it, than it might have a small market for embedded/kiosk devices. Not worth the money compared to an Atom-based unit IMHO

        The penable will have returned, sadly often burdened with a fingerprint-generator add-on (and glossy screens) but maybe some big companies will again offer a "no touch" option and matt displays.

        1. Daniel B.

          Re: Not so much @mmeier

          I do agree that current tablets are mostly "toy tablets" ... but I don't think MS is going to "save the day". In fact, the reason the whole Personal Computer industry has mostly stagnated is *because* of the Windows/Intel curbstomping in the desktop PC market. If the transportation industry were to match the computing hardware industry, we would all still be driving horse buggy, albeit with steroid-pumped, genetically engineered super-horses doing 100MPH down the motorway. But an internal combustion engine would still outrun the super horses, and the same applies to current x86 crap vs. RISC hardware. The reason we don't see RISC chips doing circles around x86 arch stuff is because nobody outside of ARM and SPARC are really investing in R&D on 'em. And yet, ARM is ever getting closer to x86.

          Eventually Microsoft and Intel will fade away; what we don't know right now is who will take their place. Neither Google or Apple are better than them; ARM is good but still lacks the punch to really take over the hardware market.

          1. mmeier

            Re: Not so much @mmeier

            ARM getting closer? Where? Even the brand new A15 is not able to compete with the aging CTrail series Atom if both are using same gen compilers/JavaScript engines. AND it does consume equal amounts of power at "full speed". And the CTrails are on the way out (and outdated), BayTrail is smaller, faster and less power hungry.

            And there is another RISC family - Motorola/IBM PPC. The one that Apple (one of it's creators!) dropped in favour of - Intel. IBM is quite happily investing in it and using it. Nice CPU, cheap, powerful, lots of OS run on it. And nobody in the mainstream cares.

            MS and Intel "fading away" might happen. But I doubt I am still around WHEN it happens. The death of both has been called at least half a dozend times. Some of those calling where actually as good as or better. None managed because they all dropped the ball. And we will see that again.

    3. Wade Burchette

      Re: Not so much

      I know people are not buying a new PC because they are expensive and because they run Windows 8. Occasionally I see a Windows 7 computer for sell, and a few days later it sold out. There is a demand for new computers that run Windows 7. Just because PC are selling less does not mean tablets are the only reason why. On HP's website now, they put their Windows 7 offerings above their Windows 8 ones. At least they did when I checked a few days ago.

  4. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Crush? or a light fondling.

    Some numbers from the article:

    > PCs sold in 2013 ... 315 million units

    > Tablet shipments ...197 million units

    So even if all those tablet shipments turn into sales - and they include the $50 cheap crap devices, the market for PCs still looks pretty dam' good - though obviously in decline, as you'd expect for a saturated product where most sales are replacements, rather than new users.

    1. cyborg

      Re: Crush? or a light fondling.

      It's almost like Gartner's analysis is trying to spin a sexy story rather than being, you know, analytical.

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

        Re: Crush? or a light fondling.

        How could you make such a terrible accusation?

        ... just because you're probably right.

      2. Admiral Grace Hopper

        Re: Crush? or a light fondling.

        We've got senior execs making decisions informed by Gartner research.

    2. daveeff

      Re: Crush? or a light fondling.

      > PCs sold in 2013 ... 315 million units

      > Tablet shipments ...197 million units

      And check that word "units", what about cash turn over and profit?

  5. lglethal Silver badge

    Hey El Reg

    Every year we see these predictions that the PC is dead. First it was the "next gen" consoles which were going to kill it, then it was supposed to be the Netbooks, then the Ultrabooks, then Smartphones, now Tablets.

    I would be seriously interested to see how Gartners predictions have actually panned out over the years. Why dont you go and have a look at the predictions from 5, 10, 20 years ago and see how accurate they were. It would give us all a much better idea of how much or little we should bother to take an interest in what Gartner (as opposed to any other would-be-prophecysing firm) has to say.

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      Re: Hey El Reg

      The PC is not dead, and likely never will die, but as a mass consumer item it is fading away. Every item on your list of things that "supposedly" killed the PC did indeed help to slow and then reverse the sales growth of PCs - especially the tablet.

      For people who regularly need to do "proper work" and high end gamers the PC is king. For everybody else, there is a more effective tool for the job.

    2. Michael Thibault

      Re: Hey El Reg

      Actually, "Hey, Prognosticator!". Analysts, forecasters, seers, etc. should be required to provide an exhaustive list of links to their own history of bone-rolling as a preface to their current one.

    3. GreenOgre

      Re: Hey El Reg

      "Every year we see these predictions that the PC is dead. "

      With a patient this sick, it isn't a prediction. It's the inevitable outcome for an advanced cancer patient.

      No pressing need for hardware upgrades,

      Microsoft Windows Vista shattered the "latest is greatest" myth.

      MS internally gridlocked by ladder-climbers.

      Real competition for Intel on hardware.

      Apple presented an alternate to the wintel model and Samsung are taking it to the masses.

      The game has changed and MS can't.

      WAKEY, WAKEY, Wintel Fanbois!!

      1. mmeier

        Re: Hey El Reg

        Actually the game is changing again - back to where MS based tablets have been for a decade. Stuff like the (expensive and low-capabel) JotPro for iThingy or the Note series show that the pen makes a comeback. And then the question quickly is - why not a similar priced yet more powerful/flexible Atom tablet? Endurance of ARM and Atom is similar, weight is similar but in all other areas even the aging CTrail Atom currently used and Windows (your choice of 7 or 8) runs rings around the competition.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Gartner state that Gartner predictions will predict an increase in new predictions."

  7. blcollier

    Gartner are full of it

    I was about to reply to Eadon's post, but then I realised who posted it; I'll just neatly side-step that for now...

    Tablets will never kill PCs. PCs might change and evolve to the point where we no longer recognise them as being the same beasts they are today - see the rise of Mini ITX, NUC, (to a lesser degree) Raspberry Pi, et al - but there will always be room for a higher-powered device with a separate leyboard, mouse & display. The day I relinquish control of my PC is the day you prise the mouse from my cold dead fingers.

    Tablets are simply tools for a different job: when I'm editing video footage or creating 3D models I have no desire to reach up and try to touch my screen; when I'm sitting on the sofa idly flicking through some inane website (probably involving cats) then I have no need to boot up the powerhouse PC.

    This, in a somewhat roundabout way, reminds me of some comments made by Pixar many years ago regarding PC graphics performance... A GPU manufacturer (think it was Nvidia) said at the time that their latest product brought them close to real-time "Pixar level" rendering. A Pixar bod then responded with the exact technical detail of the hardware involved in rendering Toy Story, closing with the disparaging insinuation that there was no way in hell that a computer AGP port could handle the bandwidth needed (yes, I said AGP - that's how old this story is).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gartner are full of it

      @blcollier. I remember that Pixar (yes it was Nvidia) story I was there, saw the Nv demos at GDC must be over 10 years. Not sure how many readers will pick up the relevance.

      Right now I've some photo/video software in development working on ways to max out on parallelism, GPU compute etc. Converse to the Pixar observation of long ago, its actually quite amazing what can be done on a reasonably priced up to date desktop system. I was surprised to measure that the Intel IB + HD 4000 integrated graphics are almost usable now, much faster than what we find on current tablet releases.

      However for most consumers, there is little native software aside from games that take full advantage of modern desktop and notebook hardware, most products are designed to work on 5-8 year old systems.

      Chicken or egg, fact is it would only take one popular and useful piece of software product which manifestly showed up the benefits of modern hardware to break the 'why upgrade' mantra and stimulate the static sales levels. Isn't it weird that Microsoft, Apple, and all the OEMs haven't bothered to release or even tried to encourage developments of such products that NEED modern desktop/notebook hardware?

    2. Chet Mannly

      Re: Gartner are full of it

      "Tablets will never kill PCs."

      No, but like camera phones ate into the dedicated camera market so will tablets eat into PC sales.

      I'm a photographer, so I'll always need a PC for photoshop, but if I'm only surfing the web, checking FB and emails etc I use a tablet - I can easily see how most people can get by without a PC.

      PC's wont die, but over time they will become more of a niche product than they are today.

      1. mmeier

        Re: Gartner are full of it

        Ever tried a tablet pc like the Ativ700 with Photoshop? Best of both worlds. Only a dedicated Cintiq is better for working on pictures.

  8. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    One thing you can use PC for

    and for which you can't use tablets is work. As long as the need for at least some people to do at least some work remains, the PC will still be with us...

    1. Charles 9

      Re: One thing you can use PC for

      Maybe, but the bean counters may decide that software doesn't really require the cutting edge at this point and decide to hold off on upgrade cycles. Fewer businesses upgrading their PCs are going to slow the market down.

    2. mmeier

      Re: One thing you can use PC for

      Tablet pc work fine in all roles. The new "hybrid" breed like the Helix might work even better than the elder "external BT keyboard" units like the Samsung Slate or the Asus EP121. At around 800g the tablet unit is light enough and with the KB-dock it can do all the jobs a common desktop / notebook can do.

      If you need more power - Convertibles. A Fujitsu T90x is the equivalent of a full powered workstation in all but the high-end graphics (performance wise). Since "notebooks" are more and more common as development maschines (allowing easy home office and customer demonstrations) the setup (often with dock) gets more common. Why not add "tablet/convertible" to the list

      Granted, neither unit will replace Olivia Officeworkers desktop. But Danny Developer could easily live with them (and maybe a dock for convenience). Olivia meanwhile is weill on the way to a "thin client" anyway and that might well be a Atom based hybrid like the Ativ500, Latitute 10 or TPT2. Sitting in a dock with monitor for "office" use and as a penable for conference room notetaking.

      And those same Atom penables can replace quite a few household pc being both an "iPad" (out of dock) and a "notebook/desktop" (in dock + external monitor) for actually less money than both units combined. And new features like Miracast in the next gen tablet pc makes them even more interesting. Take the tablet and a small receiver and show your photos to Aunt Annie

      That leaves gamers as the final "privat PC user" and even there not all of them since the integrated graphic units of the Intel chips can run quite a few games these days.

    3. Chet Mannly

      Re: One thing you can use PC for

      "As long as the need for at least some people to do at least some work remains, the PC will still be with us..." work.

      For the home email/web/FB market a tablet can do all that and is way cheaper and more convenient.

  9. Alex Gollner

    In that case, the profit share top three...

    ...will be

    1. Microsoft

    2. Apple

    3. Android sellers

    If the margins of Windows, Apple kit and Android hardware stay the same.

  10. jb99


    PCs can get back to being the proper professional tools the ought to have remained rather than being the shiny toy for playing videos that marketing people tried to turn them into. They'll sell less but they'll be better

    1. RonWheeler

      Re: Good

      I get the point, but...... PCs are the best tool for playing videos. My mini-itx behind the telly is a superb device precisely because I can put all sorts of codecs, TV tuners and whatever the heck I like on it. And more importantly remove the crud I don't like.

      To me the death of the home PC is great cos it means I don't get as many freebie callouts by relatives. Most people are too inept to be allowed out of the walled garden.

      1. Charles 9

        Re: Good

        Even that's being challenged by cheap ARM computers (especially the Raspberry Pi) with GPUs decent enough for the job. Many Android tablets have strong enough codec support (admitted it still has some teething issues here and there, but this will only improve), and some companies are trying their hand selling Android computer boxes on the cheap.

      2. mmeier

        Re: Good

        Tablet != ARM. There are quite a few x86 based tablets out there and quite a few are actually cheaper than the iThingy. You can have your cake and eat it thanks to the Atom platform.

    2. JP19

      Re: Good

      "PCs can get back to being the proper professional tools"

      With a price tag to match - not so good.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good

        "With a price tag to match - not so good."

        Apple seems to manage just fine selling toys at high prices. Never underestimate the gullibility of the public. Particularly the US market.....

  11. Anonymous Coward


    "PC sales are in terminal decline thanks to the continued popularity of tablets and there’s nothing an anticipated surge in ultramobiles can do to stop it."

    So because PC sales are decreasing (something I consider quite plausible) is per definition proof that tables are taking over?

    Only problem is that I can come up with a dozen other theories as to how this situation has come to pass. How about the current financial atmosphere; that's bound to make people spend less. Or what to think about those people who buy new PC's the very moment a new Windows version is released? Considering how "popular" Windows 8 has become so far...

    I wouldn't be surprised at all if tablet sales went up (people already have a PC and want something new) only to be followed with the opposite later on (PC sales rising and tablet sales declining).

    Why not stop making things way more dramatic than they really are?

    1. Charles 9

      Re: Uhm...

      People will need a convincing reason to upgrade, and that has been lacking over the last several years. Windows 8 has had one VERY tepid start to its lifecycle. Even games, usually the stalwart of the PC's cutting edge, has stalled in terms of performance demands (basically, if your computer has a circa 2009 CPU and a circa 2011 GPU, you can run almost all your games acceptably, at 1080p even). GPUs keep building up bit by bit but the CPU demand has plateaued in the consumer sphere (most of the push now is in server space where virualization is helping to keep up the pressure).

  12. Gordon Fecyk

    I'll believe that when Apple stops selling the Macintosh.

    Let's see Apple take the first step by discontinuing the Macintosh, and sell iDevices exclusively.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This from the company thats stated in previous predictions :

    The iPhone will Fail

    20% of all companies will not own IT assets

    WebOS will sell millions

    MS windows will fail (So many times I feel like laughing just saying it..)

    Gartner to quote a friend of mine is only listened to so boss's get a jolly every year... POINTLESS PREDICTIONS.

  14. Tom 35


    So do they use cards, bones, or crystals to come up with their predictions?

  15. Nelbert Noggins

    1.875 billion mobile phones Gartner predicts will be sold in 2013...

    Can someone tell me how many people there are in the world? Everything I find suggests there's only about 7 Billion....

    1. qwarty

      Yes, apparently Gartner predicts every man, woman, and child on the planet will own at least one mobile phone by 2017 and we'll be replacing them with new models on average once every three years. These analysts need to look up the term 'reality check'.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        *That* actually might not be so far from the truth. Mobile phones are massive in developing nations - or even failing-to-develop nations; 60% of the people in Somalia do financial transactions via mobile phones. Looking at the market in 2009 vs. now... I could see it happening. I wouldn't stake my reputation on it happening, mind you - but nor would I be shocked.

      2. Chet Mannly

        "we'll be replacing them with new models on average once every three years"

        Well most phones are bought as part of 1-2 year phone contracts so that part may not be so crazy...

  16. qwarty

    Gartner figures != RIP PC

    The problem with these Delphi-like predictions and daft headlines like RIP PC is they miss the key points.

    For instance the number of PC desktop/notebook systems in daily use is more than a billion worldwide and that number continues to increase substantially year on year. The replacement cycle has increased substantially during recent years hence the fairly static annual sales figures while growth is being fuelled by increased lifespan. Without some disruptive application or technology change, those sales projection for the next five years may prove approximately correct, a no brainer for an analyst to predict those numbers.

    Some of us have been waiting for acceptable tablet technology for decades and it brilliant the hardware is now fast and efficient enough to deliver an acceptable experience. The next few years will show great improvements and lots of opportunities for crossover with PC traditions. Numbers may well peak at close to a billion a year but its disingenuous for Gartner to claim to predict figures like Apple/Android/Windows breakdown for 2014 never mind later. Might as well inspect a sheeps entrails as listen to that crud.

  17. ecofeco Silver badge

    Flooz! Beenze!

    ...and "push" technology will make websites obsolete!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Flooz! Beenze!

      Rotating media is dead! It's the year of Linux on the desktop! It's all about thin clients!

  18. Longrod_von_Hugendong

    Are these the same people...

    Who said - cannot find any use for a tablet when apple released the iPad?


      Re: Are these the same people...

      Sure. It's a toy.

      Toys don't necessarily displace tools. They're certainly not going to displace tools for those that actually need something more than a toy.

      Jobs even made his little truck analogy. Except plenty of people drive trucks and find them indispensable.

      PCs have become durable goods.

      1. Charles 9

        Re: Are these the same people...

        They CAN displace tools if people find they didn't really need a tool in the first place. Why use a Swiss Army Knife when the right screwdriver can do the job more cleanly?

        1. mmeier

          Re: Are these the same people...

          Actually a tablet pc IS a swiss army knive that offers more capabilities than a netbook/notebook. Some can even rival the average workstation AND offer more capabilities. Killing the "three computer zoo" (Smartphone, tablet, pc) with a hybrid tablet pc and (maybe) a featurephone.

          And I am not sure if I need a mobile phone any more. 95+ percent of communication is Email/Twitter/Skype/Facebook these days or if I phone a stationary (wired) phone. "Always reachable by phone" is not going to happen in my privat life. Send me a mail or speak to my mailbox and I (may) call back. In my job I will carry (and react to) a company phone when with the customer. Still prefer a mail.

          1. Don Jefe

            Re: Are these the same people...

            There is not a tablet on the planet that has more capabilities than a decent notebook, much less a full fat workstation.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. mmeier

    Just the penables:

    Asus EP121 (core i5 ULV, 4GB Ram)

    Samsung Ativ 700 (core i5 ULV, 4GB Ram)

    Fujitsu T902 (core i7, 16GB Ram)

    Lenovo Helix (it's just out, core i5/i7 ULV, up to 8GB Ram)


    Quite decent notebooks and in the case of the Fujitsu with the full power CPU (non ULV) quite decend workstations. And they all have the extra capabilities of a WACOM inductiv digitizer that allows to do MORE than a notebook alone can do

    Tablets are more than the iThingy/Fragmentdroid/RT castrates and toy breeds!

  20. ForMe
    Thumb Up

    For the last 20 years...

    ... 95% of people, 95% of the time have wanted a device that is simple to use, does the web and does email.

    For most of that time the only choice was a PC.

    Now there are PCs, tablets and smartphones and all those people get to choose. They are mostly finding tablets and smartphones just fine and dandy, and (relatively) simple and conveniently portable.

    The small proportion of people who always needed a 'proper' computer will continue to use one and, occasionally, replace it.

    Let the media masses slide away to the coffee bars and sofas for a good fondle leaving the computer users to use computers, undisturbed.

  21. Don Jefe

    PC's In the Home

    Harry Homeowner would never have owned a PC if today's tablets were available 15 years ago. As long as they've got an Internet and the Google most consumers have what they want/need. Only a small percentage of people actually need a full on PC but until very recently they didn't have a choice. As tablet prices continue to come down more consumers will go that route.

    Business will be the last bastion of the PC because somebody has to do the creation bit of a consumption economy but (shudder) I have to agree with Gartner on this: Except for tech professionals, gamers and office bods the days of desktops and notebooks are pretty much over.

    1. mmeier

      Re: PC's In the Home

      Even the office will see the hybrids entering. They offer a good compromise between the typical "low end" office PC and the mobility needed if you take it to the meeting.

      Techs are slowly moving towards convertibles. The price difference between a top line "mobile workstation" and the convertible is not that big. The added features are useful.

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