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Ongoing PC sales downturn is the longest yet, says analyst

Ongoing PC sales downturn is the longest yet, says analyst

October 12, 2016 | By Alex Wawro

The folks over at market research firm Gartner, Inc. issued a press release this week stating that in the third quarter of this year PC shipments 5.7 percent dropped year-over-year to roughly 68.9 million units worldwide.

The reason that's a big deal, according to the firm, is that PC shipments have been down year-over-year for eight quarters in a row now, which means developers are making and releasing games amid what Gartner describes as "the longest duration of decline in the history of the PC industry."

As devs who have watched the mobile market's rapid expansion might expect, Gartner lays the blame for this ongoing decline at the feet of smartphones and tablets. The company claims that many people in PC-satured markets are relying more and more on other devices, while people in emerging markets where PCs aren't common aren't interested in changing -- they're doing just fine with phones and tablets.

"The PC is not a high priority device for the majority of consumers, so they do not feel the need to upgrade their PCs as often as they used to. Some may never decide to upgrade to a PC again," stated Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa in a press release detailing the company's findings. "In emerging markets, PC penetration is low, but consumers are not keen to own PCs. Consumers in emerging markets primarily use smartphones or phablets for their computing needs."

This is of course well in line with Gartner's reports earlier this year that smartphone sales are on the rise worldwide, with sales of Android phones far outpacing those of Apple's iPhones.

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