Gartner forecast signals upheaval for stagnant PC industry

Gartner forecast signals upheaval for stagnant PC industry

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

The writing has been on the wall for some time that the once-dominant PC market is rapidly declining, but new data from market research firm Gartner signals x86 architecture and traditional desktop operating systems will continue to survive, even as form-factors change.

The company's latest worldwide device shipment numbers indicate a 10.6 percent year-over-year decline in desktop and laptop PCs in 2013 — similar to numbers released earlier by International Data Corp. An additional 5-percent year-over-year contraction in that market segment is projected through 2014. However, when ultra-portable laptops and Windows 8 tablet-laptop hybrid devices are parsed out, the picture changes. That market segment is expected to more than double in 2013, and double again between 2013-2014.

This shift in consumer and enterprise buying preferences within the broader computing device market toward thin, lightweight and portable devices is consistent with the expected growth of tablets and smartphones. For instance, Gartner expects tablet shipments to grow nearly 68 percent this year.

The overall portability trend in computing devices, including traditional form-factors, is characterized by integrated batteries, components and non-repairable parts. With repair and refurbishment increasingly difficult for these types of devices, e-scrap processors will face significant challenges in determining the best way to manage these devices responsibly, as they gradually compose an increasing share of the end-of-life management stream.

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