PC Sales Could Pick Up Again, Say Analysts


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Following a disappointing holiday season, PC sales have been on the decline for the first half of 2013. Even the release of a new Windows operating system wasn't enough to buoy sales of traditional PCs. The prevailing opinion is that smartphones and tablets have stolen a large chunk of the PC market, and will continue to do so. However, one analyst firm is now going against the crowd and predicting that PC sales could pick up in the near future.

Strategy Analytics this week released the results of its recent "Home Computing Devices: Purchase Intention Index Q2 2013" survey. The survey asked over 6,000 Americans and Europeans what their PC buying intentions were for the coming year. Almost 23% of survey respondents said they were "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to purchase "portable PC" within the next year - an increase from the 17% the survey found the previous year.

"The PC market has suffered for some time from falling sales and increasing competition from tablets," said Jia Wu, director of Connected Home Devices at Strategy Analytics. "But our survey findings suggest that consumers are still ready and willing to buy PCs when their personal finances begin to improve."

Strategy Analytics, rather than blaming tablets for all of the downturn in the PC market, is seeing the downturn in the economy in the past half-decade as a major factor as well. The survey found that U.S. consumers' "intention index" for buying notebook PCs has increased over 10% since 2012's holiday season, and increased over 11% for buying desktop PCs.

"There has been much talk about the threat to PCs from surging demand for tablets," said David Mercer, principal analyst at Strategy Analytics. "But this evidence suggests that many consumers are putting home computers back on the shopping list now that the economic outlook is improving."