IDG News Service - The natural disasters in Japan and political tension in the Middle East could hurt PC shipments during the second quarter this year, an IDC analyst said on Wednesday.
Japan is a major manufacturer of components like batteries, and any disruption in the supply chain could impact the price of and demand for PCs, said David Daoud, research director at IDC. The 9.0-magnitude earthquake on March 11 and the ensuing tsunami in Japan have killed more than 13,000 people and caused extensive damage to buildings and factories along Japan's eastern coast. Blackouts and closure of transportation links hurt Japan's supply chain. However, factories are slowly resuming operations after inspection and repairs.
Rising oil prices, driven by the recent conflicts in the Middle East and Libya, could increase the cost of making and supplying computers and components, Daoud said. That could trigger a rise in PC prices.
PC shipments worldwide are already on shaky ground. PC shipments totaled 80.56 million during the first quarter of 2011, declining by 3.2% compared to the first quarter of 2010, IDC said in a report released on Wednesday. However, there is not much data to suggest that shipments during the quarter were hurt by events in Japan, Daoud said.
The decline follows a record 26% growth during last year's first quarter, which was driven by people upgrading PCs and buying new computers with Microsoft's new Windows 7 OS, which was released to the general public in October 2009.
The earthquake happened toward the end of the first quarter, and PC makers likely had components stashed away to build and supply computers for a couple of weeks, Daoud said. The real impact of Japan's natural disasters will be felt in the second quarter when components start running short, Daoud said.
A lack of economic confidence in Europe could also contribute to the slowdown in PC shipments, Daoud said. That is a big change from the same quarter a year ago, when record PC shipment growth came as economies were exiting the recession.
There was a lot of interest in PCs when Windows 7 came out, but the excitement has dried up, so consumers are trying to extend the life of their PCs, Daoud said.
"What we are seeing now may be part of a correction ... plus a very difficult [economic] environment out there," Daoud said.
While Daoud said a straw poll would suggest a lot of interest in tablets, there is not empirical evidence yet to suggest that tablets are directly hurting PC shipments, which are much larger in volume. Tablets are used as secondary computing devices to PCs, but as new usage models emerge, tablets could "cannibalize" PC shipments over time, Daoud said.
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Infographic: Converged Infrastructure Benefits This Infographic quantifies the savings organizations are realizing from increased deployment speed, higher availability, and lower annual costs.
- CIOs Deliver Productivity Breakthroughs with Intelligent Digital Signage Retailers have long recognized the influence that digital signage provides over a shopper's point-of-purchase decision making process.
- Going Paperless? Here's What You Need to Think About As makers of some of the world's most popular PDF solutions, we often consult with businesses & governmental agencies that have the goal...
- The Big Data Opportunity for HR and Finance If CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and CHROs want to drive their businesses forward, they will need to quickly recognize the enormous value of big...
- Redefine Your IT Operations: Remote Office IT Has Never Been Simpler Join us to see why PC Pro named Dell PowerEdge VRTX the "2013 Server of the Year." PowerEdge VRTX may be just what...
Enhance Your Virtualization Infrastructure With IBM and Vmware
Date: Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
Virtualization technology is now expanding beyond the server compute elements to encompass networking and storage...
All Hardware White Papers |
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!