As a result, PC makers are looking to emerging markets to boost sales.
The new strategy was evident at Intel’s recent investors’ conference, where the company’s CEO, Paul Otellini, unveiled a map that identified where PC growth is expected to be strongest in coming years.
The U.S. and Europe were conspicuously not highlighted. Otellini gestured instead toward places such as Brazil, Russia, India, China – the so-called “BRIC” countries – as well as Mexico, Venezuela, the Czech Republic, South Africa and Turkey. All are expected to experience double-digit percentage growth.
The message: The world’s leading computer chip-maker and its industry allies have no choice but to launch a marketing attack on foreign shores.
PC sales are decelerating in the U.S. because the same technological advances that fueled the PC industry’s rise – faster processors and lower costs every couple of years – are now benefiting the devices that are usurping it. Consumers can now use smaller gadgets to do many of the same things they once did with PCs, such as surfing the Internet, storing photos and sending e-mail. Apple even boasts that users can edit home movies on an iPad.
Indeed, consumers’ increasing demand for tablets is a looming threat. Some 50 million tablets are expected to be sold worldwide this year, and that could double to as many as 100 million next year, according to various estimates. Although that’s still small compared with sales of 362 million PCs this year, as estimated by IDC, the PC industry has reason to worry because of how quickly the tablet has been able to claimed such a large corner of the market.
Goldman Sachs calls tablets “one of the most disruptive forces in computing in nearly three decades.” It predicts that as many as 21 million people will buy tablets instead of laptops this year, jumping to 26.5 million next year.
In recent quarters, corporations have buoyed much of the spending on PCs. That likely continued in the April- June period, but the drag from consumers is expected to be substantial. Intel Corp., which makes 80 percent of the world’s microprocessor chips, issues financial results soon. Advanced Micro Devices Inc., its smaller rival, and Microsoft Corp., whose Windows software runs on most of the world’s PCs, report later.<< previous 1 2 3 next >>