Are you guys serious? Are you saying that Obmacare and Microsoft are the two reasons why the PC Display Orders Plummet in July? I think the management team at the eight leading PC brands -- Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba -- all have better common sense than that. O yea, please leave Microsoft alone. The management team at Microsoft are making excellent decisions right now. I love it!
And I would argue that the corporate upgrade cycle got longer because large chunks of the world just went through a recession.
That, and I think upgrade cycles were lengthening anyway. Current hardware is fast and powerful enough that corporations may ask "Do we need to upgrade?" and the answer may be "No." because existing gear still does the job.
In addition, the cost of the new machines is only one component of the total costs of upgrading. A corporate upgrade is a complex exercise requiring lots of planning, and extra hours from those doing it. I went through the exercise a while back when my then employer was acquired, and the new owners decided to fund a needed upgrade. Of course, money reared its head: the upgrade was in stages over three years to reduce the outlay at any single point, and some of what was done was accounted for as "one time integration expenses", because shareholders expected integration costs in a merger and aquisition, and didn't view them with the same disfavor as a higher expense in a budget line item.
My associates and I burned a fair bit of midnight oil doing the swaps and helping users deal with the changes. Fortunately. most folks accessed files on shared servers and didn't have a lot of local data to be preserved. Everyone getting shiny new flat screen monitors as part of the process went a long way toward reconciling users to the changes.
The sales of PC LCD panel seems to agree with the decline of PC sales. Although the decline rate of LCD panel seems to be a lot higher than I anticipate, the decline itself doesn't really come into surprise to me. What interesting to me is why these PC makers not finding other way out for these panels. Clearly, a 10" tablet is too small for any real computer tasks - word processing, spreadsheet calculation, etc. Can 15" fit into a tablet for portability and practicality? There are a couple vendors testing the market. Who knows where it is going to do? Question is coming down to what else these 15", 17" panel be used.
On the other hands, what about the sales of bigger LCD panel - 24" & 26" which are used for desktop screen?
I have been seeing five year replacement cycles in some cases, with upgrades in RAM and HD (larger and/or faster) to bridge the gap, it's not just three years lengthening to four. Also, during the Great Recession, computer upgrades often came from picking up newer used machines from dearly departed colleagues. :(
Well stated Jack L. Really, what does Obamacare, Syria or Linux have to do with the decline of desktop & laptop sales in the U.S., never mind declining sales of those computers in the rest of the world? We can't blame it all on the mis-step of Win 8, although that certainly didn't help matters. Neither can we we attribute it all to consumers' and business users' appetite for tablets & smartphones.
As you so eloquently stated, the desktop & laptop computers we have -- even if they are a couple years old -- are more than powerful enough for the tasks for which most of us use them.
The upgrade cycle has grown longer, at the same time that new mobile computing platforms have captured our collective attention. The fact that the incumbent OS released a less than must-have new version is almost beside the point. A decline in annual sales of traditional computing platforms seems to have been baked in regardless of uncertainty about Win 8.
Linux? Really? ... not even a small dent in the shipment of LCD screens. Not much more than a rounding error.
Obamacare? ... The U.S. may be the largest market, but not the only one. The world is a much bigger place now.
Windows 8? ... yes perhaps, but we also need to consider whether we are approaching an asymptote in PC requirements for most users?
My Core I7 laptop screams along just fine and really how much resolution do you need in 15" Even my 5 year old laptop is doing admirable second service as a browsing/homework machine. The 1920*1200, 24" monitor is doing just fine. More resolution may be nice, but not at all essential. I do have my eyes on a tablet for portability, but for the most part, my needs are covered. I can likely go another 2 years before an upgrade as opposed to the 3 of the last hardware cycle.
Going from a 3 to 4 year upgrade cycle makes for a huge drop in replacement sales. Window 8 never came into the argument at all and the corp-IT people I know say it has some impact, but mostly the computers people have are "good enough" for the tasks that they do.
The discussion here seems to be Win8 instead of LCD panels. I have a Win8 laptop and it's really not that bad once you figure out how to get to everything. I think the reason LCD panels are down is the same reason smart phones and tablets are up. The casual user has moved on from the laptop. Also, companies are pinching pennies waiting for the coming pain of obamacare.