"There is improvement in demand," said Jay Chou, a senior researcher at IDC, although he added that 2014 was "still another difficult year" for the PC industry.
Why Are PC Sales Declining?
You would know PC sales are declining if anyone has been following the news. Recent decisions by Sony and Samsung to stop selling laptops in Europe have everyone wondering why. Samsung has made the choice to pull the Ativ Windows and Chromebook devices in Europe. Sony sold its Vaio sector in February of this year. A Samsung spokesperson has stated "We quickly adapt to market demands and needs. In Europe, we will be discontinuing sales of laptops including Chromebooks for now. This is specific to the region and is not necessarily reflective of conditions in other markets." Yet, one has to wonder if this is region specific or if there is something in the economic undertones no one is talking about.
What about the 5,000 people laid off from Sony when the firm restructured its TV division and how many of the staff will experience job cuts from the corporate Samsung ripple? Technology is one of the fastest growing industries, so to say PC's are in decline in Europe leads to other questions. The spokesman for Samsung also added "We will continue to thoroughly evaluate market conditions and will make further adjustments to maintain our competitiveness in emerging PC categories.".
Things have been quiet from Samsung this year on the laptop side of things with now new devices at IFA 201 in Berlin. The firm's main recent releases have included the Ativ Book 9 Plus and Ativ Book 9 Lite.
In the case of Sony, the move resulted in significant job cuts. The firm also restructured its TV division and although a handful of staff were moved to the new company, the forecasted total loss of employees amounted to 5,000.
In Samsung's case, we haven't been given any information on any job losses but we're requesting more information so we'll update this article.
"We will continue to thoroughly evaluate market conditions and will make further adjustments to maintain our competitiveness in emerging PC categories" added the spokesperson.
The decline in PC sales is a result of lost sales to tablets among consumers. Tablet sales are rising quickly globally.
Consumer sales previously made up half of the PC business, now making it an intense competition across the board for PC makers due to less profitability. Are PC's heading for the technology graveyard? Consumers always have the last word.
One research firm, Gartner, estimated shipments actually increased 1 percent in the fourth quarter. Using different methods, a second firm calculated that shipments fell 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter, but that's not as bad as the 4.8 percent decline that researchers at International Data Corp. had forecast for the period.
Sales actually improved for several of the world's biggest computer-makers, including Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard and Dell, which gained market share from smaller manufacturers in the last quarter. Lenovo remains the world's leading PC seller, but HP showed sizable gains-- especially in the United States. Apple also increased its overall sales, although it's not a leading seller outside the United States and Western markets.
While the reports indicate how the PC industry is doing, more details may emerge in coming weeks when HP, Intel and other leading industry players issue financial reports for the last quarter.