The research analysis firm IDC has put out a report about worldwide PC shipments, and the numbers were clearly in decline for the first quarter of this year. Whereas it was expected that PC sales would be slightly up this year, in Q1 the numbers slipped 3.2% worldwide with a 10% drop in the United States.
While the first quarter overall doesn’t appear to be a good quarter for PC shipments, you can see that the numbers are in a decline, and at the lowest since Q1 2009, which came right after the markets crash. Breaking down the number of shipments for individual manufacturers in the U.S. here are the top five.
Four of the top five here have expressed interest in selling Chrome OS hardware. The only other one on the list is Apple. The number one manufacturer, HP, threw their support behind the platform, but they may be on the outs now that they want to sell WebOS and Windows dual boot machines.
Dell is interested, as one of their Linux Team members named Doug Anson has put out builds that work with Dell Minis. We’ve heard rumors that Toshiba has been working on Chrome OS, although there has been no official word from them. The company that looks to benefit the most would be Acer, which has seen a huge year over year 42.1% drop in PC sales. Acer was announced as an initial hardware partner in December 2010.
I’m reading a lot that perhaps in the post-PC era that we’re supposedly entering into that Chrome OS doesn’t really fit. I would disagree. While Chrome is expected to arrive first on laptops, it will be on other devices down the line. Google realizes that they best way to enter this market is to try to do it with laptops.
Remember, just because there’s a drop in overall sales there are still millions of PC that are being sold. They’re just not being replaced as quickly as before. We’ve got the iPad and smartphones to help augment the web experience, and more often these days new software is being deployed as web services, which don’t require a lot of user hardware resources. What’s the incentive to replace PC hardware? Many people as well as big companies appear to be lengthening their PC lifecycle to adjust.
Do you think that this is a good opportunity for Chrome OS hardware or not?