PC sales decline:behind the numbers

You’ve probably read that PC sales continue to decline and the explanation lies in understanding how people are using their PC’s.  The op two reasons people go online is to read email, and surf the web.  This, of course, can be done easily on an iPad or smartphone so why would anyone shell out $1000 for a new PC?

Microsoft and Apple are locked in a war for PC sales.  Microsoft’s new Surface Studio is creating a lot of excitement within the business community and Apple has responded with upgraded and overpriced iMac’s that most people won’t buy.

Forrester estimates that only 10% of people who use PC’s are “creators” .  These are people who create BLOG’s, presentation, or other online interactive initiatives.  That means that the other 90% really don’t need PC’s and in fact it’s quite common to see Millennial’s using tablets a lot more than desktops or laptops.

As a marketer, you should be aware that people are switching to tablets and other mobile devices because it’s part of your brand experience .  Websites that look great on a Mac need to also look great on an iPhone or iPad.  However, don’t make the mistake that people are using mobile devices to make more purchases.  Current online monitoring of online purchases clearly shows that desktops still rule, but mobile is growing.

Will PC’s sales ever catch on fire again?  I doubt it.  There just isn’t a need to spend a lot of money on a desktop when an iPad will do just fine. I expect that the line between tablets and laptops will continue to converge, however, creators, mostly in business, will still need PC’s.

Brands have to remember that online is often part of the brand journey, but that journey doesn’t always mean that someone is going to go online for your product.  I doubt, for example, that 99% of the items in the grocery store require people to go online to learn about them, but if you disappoint a customer they are going to vent their frustration, usually on social media.

If you’re an early adapter like me, you need to really ask yourself if you need that new desktop or laptop. The answer probably is “no” because we have better things to do with our money.

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