When was the last time you were excited about a tablet or PC?
That's an enduring question the consumer electronics industry has to grapple with, and the news isn't getting any better: Research firm IDC on Wednesday forecast that sales of both products will fall faster than previously expected. PC shipments are expected to tumble 8.7 percent this year, and won't stabilize until 2017. Tablets, meanwhile, will see an 8 percent decline in shipments.
The sobering forecast underscores a broader problem in the industry: an overall lack of excitement and enthusiasm in either the tablet or PC markets. Consumers are hanging onto their old PCs and tablets longer -- and why not? There have been few innovations in the tablet business to drive a new purchase, and the 3-year-old Window 8 software for laptops and desktops was never much of a lure. Microsoft's decision to offer free upgrades to its new Windows 10 software, which debuted in late July, meant most consumers didn't need a new device to take advantage of its latest bells and whistles.
The PC business has struggled for years as consumers and businesses spent their money elsewhere, including smartphones. But the market has also been beset by a glut of inventory, a lack of new models and a spike in the currency exchange rate that made the devices even pricier. As a result, IDC said it sees the market slowing further next year before showing a "modest recovery" in 2017