The surprising state of the PC market in two charts
Reports of the PC’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Written off after a slow 2013, PCs fought back last year with sales growing 1 percent in the fourth quarter year over year. The 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) offered further optimism, showcasing advances that could breathe new life into PCs, including new hybrid laptop/tablets, curved screens, and ultra-thin laptops with big boosts in battery life. Clearly, PCs aren’t down for the count just yet.
In fact, according to a new SHI poll, they’re far from it. We commissioned an online survey, conducted by Harris Poll in December, of U.S. IT professionals to peek into their 2015 plans for new hardware and devices. We asked what percentage of PCs they plan to replace this year and whether desktops, laptops, tablets, or Chromebooks would be the replacement. Their answers show that PCs might have a longer lease on life than many think.
Here’s what we learned:
- IT pros prefer PCs in 2015. Of the 99 percent of IT professionals whose organizations plan to replace at least one computer next year, 82 percent will replace existing desktops or laptops with another desktop or laptop.
- IT isn’t replacing desktops with laptops. Some 45 percent of IT professionals plan to replace a desktop with a desktop, while only 12 percent plan to replace a desktop with a laptop.
- Tablets aren’t a PC killer. Only 9 percent of IT professionals said they plan to replace a desktop or laptop with a tablet.
- Tablets are more likely a replacement than an add-on. Despite little interest in replacing PCs with tablets, IT pros reported they are even less likely to provide a tablet in addition to a desktop or laptop. Just 7 percent plan to do so in 2015.
- Chromebooks appeal to a different crowd. Only 1 percent of IT professionals said they’d be replacing a desktop or laptop with a Chromebook in 2015. The results would likely be different if the poll included IT pros at educational institutions, where Chromebooks are growing in popularity. Sales jumped 67 percent between the second and third quarter last year, and by the third quarter, eclipsed sales of the iPad in the education market.
IT spending will inevitably rise as the economy improves and more Americans return to the workforce. Over the last year, the unemployment rate retreated more than a full percentage point as 1.7 million people returned to work. The companies doing all that hiring need hardware for their new employees. So it’s not surprising that the uptick in employment buoyed the PC market as well.
Which results are most interesting to you? What’s your plan for 2015? Let us know in a comment below.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of SHI International from December 10-19, 2014. It was conducted among 306 full-time IT professionals aged 18 and over, who work in a company with 20 or more employees and have at least a major influence on IT decision-making, via its ITDMQuery omnibus product. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Denise@GregoryFCA.com.