Industry decline enters its sixth quarter
Sales of PCs have fallen for the sixth consecutive quarter, as tablets continue to emerge as the device of choice for consumers.
Research groups Gartner and IDC have indicated a year-on-year dip of between 7.6 and 8.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2013.
They estimate that this trend will continue into 2014, after which there may be some respite as users replace their old PCs. However, sales are not expected to return to the levels they experienced before the arrival of the iPad in 2010.
In fact, tablet sales are expected to overtake PCs for the first time in the next quarter, particularly with Christmas on the horizon and new products from the likes of Google, Apple and Tesco's Hudl targeting the festive market.
The PC's perils are being put down to a sales saturation in Western Europe, and the rise of smartphones and tablets attracting many first time buyers in developing countries.
A lack of improvement in the sector, particularly when it comes to key considerations such as battery life and processing power, has also been cited as a reason for customers not feeling it necessary to upgrade their PC.
Importance of mobile compatibility highlighted
Once mobile devices do overtake PCs, companies will need to think hard about how they are going to ensure consumers can continue to use their site. This is particularly vital in light of recent data showing how many users surf the internet using their mobile device whilst watching television, creating a key opportunity for advertisers.
In June this year, Google warned that it would soon begin penalising sites that were not optimised for mobile devices. This means that ignoring mobile optimisation could see businesses suffer a drop in rankings.
Adrian Mursec, senior developer at theEword, said: "This data should make companies think twice before neglecting their mobile strategy. Clearly it has never been more important to ensure your site is fully optimised for mobile devices."