Has Innovation Decreased Sales for PCs?
PC markets have been experiencing a constant decrease in sales over the past five years. To flat line on sales, instead of decreasing again this year would be a positive turn for tech companies. One of the factors for the decrease in sales is the continuous innovation in hardware and software that PCs have been implementing.
The consumer base of PCs have been separated into groups to describe loyal customers and infrequent customers. The loyal customers are businesses that frequently upgrade their PC systems and also PC enthusiasts. PC’s quality has been getting better and improving constantly, resulting in the mutual feeling among businesses to not replace their company technology as frequently. The PC enthusiasts aren’t enough of a driving force to increase sales to counteract the result of the people that simply don’t love or need PCs as much as they do. The infrequent customers can be credited for the decrease in PC sales. This group comprises people who choose smartphones as their main form of technology and choose to upgrade this more frequently than they would a desktop or laptop. There are also people who are treating their PCs as long-term fixtures in their home and lives; they’re treating them as they would treat home appliances, not to be replaced annually.
Is Innovation really a Good Thing or a Bad Thing for a Technology Company?
Innovation in technology is the universal goal for all technology companies, but this goal when attained, can actually be hurting their business and sales. The innovations that PCs have achieved and implemented have been having a positive impact on their image to consumers. A lot of people are choosing to purchase PC products over Apple’s products, and not just because they’re cheaper, some PCs have actually increased their price making it a viable competitor to the Apple Macbook. The steeper price tag puts PCs in the same market as Apple. They’ve rebranded and redesigned their products, making them look sleek and new. These new innovations and designs have been responsible for positively rebranding PC’s image into modern computers that can be used long-term and compete with Apple computers, that have been credible for their longevity and sleek look. The innovations in the computer’s hardware and design has made the turnover cycle much longer. The turnover cycle has increased from the initial 2-3 year replacement cycle to the more standard 5-6 year replacement cycle. Some companies are even boasting 8 year upgrade cycles. These new PCs, like Apple, also don’t have to be replaced because of newer designs, technology, or slowdowns. The negative impact that it has had on PCs is the continuous reduction in sales. Analysts propose that to just breakeven would be good for PC businesses, refreshing from the constant five year decrease in sales that they have all experienced. Although PC has experienced a drop in sales, Apple has not experienced any major fluctuation in sales despite its controversial elimination of major ports in their computers and implementation of dongles and USB ports.
Original Sources: Extreme Tech "The PC market just fell for the fifth straight year as unit shipments continue to decline"
Image: Digital Trends