PC shipments decline, can’t imagine why

I happened to stumble across one of those moments where I thought, “Some cursory Googling is going to suggest something else”. Today, via The Verge:

With sales falling 10.6 percent this past quarter, the PC industry experienced the biggest drop in sales in its history, according to the market research firm IDC. Competing research firm Gartner is painting a nicer picture for the industry, putting the decline only at 8.3 percent. Despite the introduction of Windows 10 and the holiday season, worldwide PC shipments stayed under 300 million units for the first time in seven years, according to both firms.

The IDC points to a number of issues that kept the PC market down, including competition from smartphones and tablets, weak international currencies, and even blaming the free Windows 10 upgrade program as a deterrent for users who bought new PCs in 2014 from buying new machines in 2015.

After 2 seconds of Googling, the doom in this article loses some oomph after you realize, yes, this was expected, and it doesn’t cover hybrid devices like the Surface:

Despite the gloom, there were some positive signs in 2015. Premium PCs, like Apple’s Mac, were a bright spot. And “detachable tablets”—what others call 2-in-1 PCs—are growing quickly, IDC says. If they were included in its PC sales for 2015, detachable tablets would have bumped the results by 6 percentage points in the fourth quarter alone, and 3 percent for all of 2015. So the shortfall in Q4 would have been only 5 percent, not 10.6 percent.

What an odd determination. That’d be like if in ten years we lamented the decline of cars, but only because we treated self-driving cars like something not a car. No wonder people don’t trust the news.

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