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GfK: The fall of traditional computing continues

Laura Barnes
GfK: The fall of traditional computing continues

GfK’s ITC senior account manager Chris Kennedy-Sloane looks at how the market performed in June year-on-year, including declines in desktops, notebooks and peripherals, plus a rise in media tablets.


In June total IT dipped into a slight decline of 1.7 per cent in both volume and value for June 2013 versus June 2012. The main driving factors were not peripherals categories as they had been in the past, but rather the older traditional computing areas that were suffering in the wake of the continued growth of media tablets.

Notebooks saw a decline of 10 per cent in both volume and value in June 2013 versus 2012, a significant blow for the most value important category to overall IT. Similarly, traditional desktop computers excluding all-in-ones fell by 19 per cent in volume and 26 per cent in value over that period, further exacerbating the decline of overall computing. While there is still a presence for netbooks, they continue to decline at over 47 per cent in value and 39 per cent in volume as they retreat to a more online-only presence.

Contrasting these declines is media tablets, which is up 73 per cent in volume year-on-year. However, this is tempered by an average selling price (ASP) decline of 30 per cent over the same period, meaning that the value growth for media tablets was only 20.6 per cent. In June 2013, this made media tablets only just more important to the overall IT marketplace in value than notebooks for the first time since December 2012.

The knock-on effect of the tablet growth continues to be very visible in peripherals – mice, generally unimportant for touchscreens, have fallen 31 per cent in June 2013 over 2012 in volume. This is contrasted with keyboards, which consumers seem to see as much more important for touchscreen devices, declining only three per cent in volume over the same period and up more than 40 per cent in value. This is primarily due to the shift towards Bluetooth-enabled keyboards that have a higher ASP and are designed to be used specifically with tablets.

Storage as a product area in comparison has remained quite strong in volume, particularly when contrasting physical storage with the growth of cloud storage. Total storage grew 4.4 per cent in volume in June 2013. Considering that USB storage is mostly unusable with tablets, this appears to imply that consumers are still purchasing expandable storage for use in the home with their traditional computers. In value, the situation was not as positive however, with total storage falling 12.7 per cent over that same period. This was primarily driven by a decrease in prices of solid state drives, the largest growth area in storage at the moment which is also rapidly becoming a commoditised rather than specialised product.

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Tags: gfk, it market, Chris Kennedy-Sloane

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