A new report has highlighted the shifting dynamic in the PC and tablet marketplaces, indicating trends we are likely to see continue into 2014.
This American study, published by npd.com, provides a snapshot of commercial sales, painting a picture in which PC sales are flat-lining, Apple computer sales are in decline and ultra-portables are selling like hotcakes.
Between January 2013 and November 2013, 14.4 million desktops, notebooks and tablets were sold through commercial channels. Whilst this figure only accounts for a fraction of total sales – because it did not include direct channels – this does still offer a unique insight into the market.
For instance, it may come as a surprise that the sales of Windows-based machines increased by roughly ten per cent while their OS X counterparts fell by seven per cent.
So do these figures suggest a predisposition towards the budget end of technology? After all, over the same period, Android tablets grew by more than 160 per cent, accounting for 8.7 per cent of all sales.
Meanwhile, Windows tablet sales tripled – although starting with a relatively small base, these figures remain insignificant.
The iPad still enjoyed a 59 per cent share of tablet sales, but the lead narrowed, giving way to an army of less expensive models on offer.
And the winner is…
Of all the devices, the Chromebook seems the obvious winner, accounting for eight per cent of all computer and tablet sales. While this may not sound like a phenomenal piece of the pie, Chromebooks only accounted for one tenth of a per cent in 2012, highlighting the explosion in their popularity.
According to zdnet.com, Stephen Baker, NPD’s vice president of industry analysis, said that while the Windows PC certainly was not dead, manufacturers needed to continue diversifying their offerings.
“As businesses upgrade from older machines and operating systems in the year ahead, the long-term trend is clearly towards greater hardware diversity, which all manufacturers will need to embrace in order to continue to grow,” he said.