Worldwide PC shipments were down 10.6% year-over-year in the last quarter of 2015, reaching the lowest level since 2008. It’s expected to drop another 3.1% this year, IDC said, putting PCs into a deeper hole.
But there’s one nugget of information in the IDC report that points to a possible revival of the PC market: if you include detachable tablets, or tablets that double as laptops, the PC market is projected to grow 1% to 2% in 2016.
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Intel’s latest chip model Skylake, for example, is the company’s best processor to date, and is optimized for detachable tablets that run Windows 10, like the Microsoft Surface Book. The main reason detachables are counted separately from PCs is largely due to legacy PC makers wanting to be part of the mobility trend. But he also stressed that it should be looped in to the PC tracker soon, as more manufacturers double down on it.
But don’t expect the rise of detachables to have an immediate impact on Intel’s top line growth. While it will definitely help Intel, it’s unclear if Intel will dominate the detachable market the way it did with PCs.
HP is now using AMD in more of it’s commercial lineup, and the iPad Pro and Pixel C are using ARM-based processors. So, this may stem the slide of sales by Intel in the PC market, but it may not represent significant amount of growth.
My 2 cents:
Intel is declaring the “decline of PCs” a matter of semantics/word choice; and I agree. Surface Pro and its like are simply replacing the conventional PC market, and that is great news for everyone: users, Microsoft, Apple, Intel… Intel is poised to profit from an increase in demand for Skylake chips but it is not without competition for the HP and Apple accounts. But hey, Intel has been in this situation before (twice), from DRAM to Micro Processors, and those who stuck to Intel won out (even Microsoft paid the price for letting Intel team up with Compaq). Intel Inside might be making its comeback!