Yes, tablets, whatever, but is this proof that the press prefers gloom and doom, or what?
I've been wondering whether eventually, PC sales wouldn't start a comeback. Sooner or later, I thought, people will have bought their tablets and will probably get back to their workhorse. I admit that tablets like the Surface Pro would likely make that picture more cloudy.
So, I haven't seen any screaming headlines on EE Times, and this phenomenon has apparently not (yet) occurred globally, but PC sales in the US, 3rd quarter 2013, are 3.5 percent higher than last year. Surprising turnaround? Dunno. You'd think it would get some press coverage, though.
I've seen this happening over and over and over again. People seem to assume that today's trend will be the trend for all time. It was never more obvious than in the go-go early 2000s, when supposedly the whole economic system had changed dramaitically. Until, uuuh, it hadn't. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the same isn't true with this "PC in decline" mantra we keep hearing. Although again, tablets like the Surface Pro could, or should, change what constitutes "PC."
Actually, though, Apple still continues to be "most profitable." In other words, to charge more.
It should not be surprising that a company that charges more will lose market share, as the masses start buying up the new devices. Apple will have to invent some other new toy, a la smartphone, at precisely the right time (i.e. when the infrastructure is ready for the device). Then for another period of time, they will get the market share from early adopters. And the cycle repeats.
What I am seeing is PC makers doing more innovating than they have in a long time. Desktop PCs and laptops had become, quite frankly, boring. There is nothing like a sharp drop in sales to force companies into trying new things. Most of these will end up unsuccessful, but there is a possibility that they will come up with true differentiators that will give PCs in some form a new lease on life.
Higher bandwidth connectivity will change the landscape for good. Thinner clients with standard and ubiquitous accessories will become the norm. They will be handheld devices, the word PC will become defunct :-)