Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?



  • So interesting question.

    First, maybe two years ago, we learned that PC (traditional computer) sales had tanked and that old school computers were dying off (not completely, of course, just a rapidly shrinking market) because tablet sales had skyrocketed, and some people were just moving backwards and using phones as "good enough". We had discovered, which makes sense really, that a huge number of people were buying PCs in the past as "overkill" because there was no other choice. Lots of people only needed to visit the occasional website, check email, and play Candy Crush and tablets, or even just phones, were all that they needed.

    Now we have learned that iPad sales have slowed and Android tablet sales have tanked so hard that Google is effectively giving up on the platform (for tablets, not for phones) and looking to consolidate their tablet and Chromebook products into one. While Chromebooks are taking off, the Androids are failing.

    Given all this, is this as simple as the computer market is going away? Lots of people have realized, especially in the "younger" generation, that they just don't want to be online and have the ability to generate content from home? Has the peer to peer and content generation era ended? Are PCs and more recent tablets lasting longer and longer causing a huge downturn in the buyers' market? Maybe computers that used to only be good for four years are now good for eight years and people are just buying many fewer?

    How is a world that should be getting more and more advanced, getting less and less advanced equipment?



  • What I think it is, is that the technological revolution wave from the 80's to the early 2000's is over...(and has been for some time). Sure, there's been some major game changers since then too, but I think we're back on that up-hill climb again where things just seem stagnant.

    I suspect there's a lot of closed door goings on and we're just waiting for the floodgates to open with the new tech hidden away.



  • @dafyre said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    What I think it is, is that the technological revolution wave from the 80's to the early 2000's is over...(and has been for some time).

    Since, like, the 2000s. 😉



  • @scottalanmiller said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    @dafyre said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    What I think it is, is that the technological revolution wave from the 80's to the early 2000's is over...(and has been for some time).

    Since, like, the 2000s. 😉

    Well, technically we'll be in the 2000's for another 982 years, so there is that. 😛



  • I think it really depends on the user?
    I know individuals who only have one family desktop or laptop at home and then each person has there own tablet/phone.



  • I think we're hitting a saturation point. There are so many "computers" (desktop, laptop, tablet, phone) in so many hands that the market growth has "tanked". It has tanked because the number of new customers entering the market has declined sharply and sales are only coming from replacement purchases. Where we are now is normal.



  • @black3dynamite said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    I think it really depends on the user?
    I know people only have one family Desktop at home and then each person has there own tablet/phone.

    The number of devices in this house actually outnumbers the people, lol... But all of our gear, phones excepted is > 3 years old.



  • I would like to know how many Linux users upgrade their computers compared to Windows users?



  • @kelly said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    I think we're hitting a saturation point. There are so many "computers" (desktop, laptop, tablet, phone) in so many hands that the market growth has "tanked". It has tanked because the number of new customers entering the market has declined sharply and sales are only coming from replacement purchases. Where we are now is normal.

    That all makes sense. NO ONE is out there getting their first computer anymore. it's only upgrades, if needed.



  • @dafyre said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    @black3dynamite said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    I think it really depends on the user?
    I know people only have one family Desktop at home and then each person has there own tablet/phone.

    The number of devices in this house actually outnumbers the people, lol... But all of our gear, phones excepted is > 3 years old.

    That's how we are. But "normal" people, it's the opposite now (unless you count phones.) I know families that are young (like barely 30) with kids, both parents are doctors, one old nearly useless laptop is all that they have. Totally no tech.



  • @black3dynamite said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    I would like to know how many Linux users upgrade their computers compared to Windows users?

    Those would be some interesting stats. Easily far less, but possibly far more.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    @kelly said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    I think we're hitting a saturation point. There are so many "computers" (desktop, laptop, tablet, phone) in so many hands that the market growth has "tanked". It has tanked because the number of new customers entering the market has declined sharply and sales are only coming from replacement purchases. Where we are now is normal.

    That all makes sense. NO ONE is out there getting their first computer anymore. it's only upgrades, if needed.

    And the regularized phone upgrade cycle is delaying the computer upgrade cycle even further exacerbating the sales trend.



  • Before, a family of 5 for example, had one computer in the house and that was all there was. And the cost of that computer was two to three thousand dollars. Back then, it was a LOT.

    Now, there may be 2 laptops, a tablet, and 2 or 3 cellphones per household. All for less than the cost of that single PC back in the day.

    That's how I see it and my experience.

    For others, there may be a 8 year old laptop in a household and a few cell phones.

    On top of that, gaming consoles are pretty common for the games nobody wants to play on a small screen.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    Are PCs and more recent tablets lasting longer and longer causing a huge downturn in the buyers' market?

    I think this is a big part of it. Many people were getting the latest and greatest every year or two and are now realizing that inexpensive tablet/laptop will last the better part of a decade.



  • @tim_g said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    Before, a family of 5 for example, had one computer in the house and that was all there was. And the cost of that computer was two to three thousand dollars. Back then, it was a LOT.

    Now, there may be 2 laptops, a tablet, and 2 or 3 cellphones per household. All for less than the cost of that single PC back in the day.

    That's how I see it and my experience.

    For others, there may be a 8 year old laptop in a household and a few cell phones.

    On top of that, gaming consoles are pretty common for the games nobody wants to play on a small screen.

    One can setup a small desktop and turn that into a gaming system and have it right next to there TV nowadays.



  • It is the kind of content consumption. Many do not game, develop in Adobe/AutoDesk/ProTools/etc. I would say the masses do not, and if they do much of it is probably web services. The end user PC is shrinking.

    For business, I store nothing on my actual computer and most of my software is FOSS. If my drive died... I don't care. I connect to LOB/MGMT/TS systems for whatever I need. For my consumer life... I have Spiceworks and MangoLassi along with research. That's about it.

    The device is becoming irrelevant, or is already irrelevant at this point. It's about the platform, and that platform is no longer the device's OS, or is nearly no longer the OS. People want cheap, mobile devices that are responsive; ones that can jack them into the world to deliver the best UX for their individual data consumption/delivery.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    That all makes sense. NO ONE is out there getting their first computer anymore. it's only upgrades, if needed.

    It is not no one.

    Plenty of people get their first computer every day. Mostly kids getting chromebooks though.

    The home PC is going to be dead outside of developers and high end gamers for the most part.

    The tablet market is simply reaching a saturation point. I have a two year old iPad Air 2. I do not plan to replace it in the next 2 years barring a user malfunction (aka I drop it).

    Finally, yes. Harder has gotten a lot better.

    My desktop was 9 years old and just replaced. Granted it had an SSD swapped into it, but that was it.

    And it is still running. It is now my KVM server running my Plex server at home.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    @dafyre said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    @black3dynamite said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    I think it really depends on the user?
    I know people only have one family Desktop at home and then each person has there own tablet/phone.

    The number of devices in this house actually outnumbers the people, lol... But all of our gear, phones excepted is > 3 years old.

    That's how we are. But "normal" people, it's the opposite now (unless you count phones.) I know families that are young (like barely 30) with kids, both parents are doctors, one old nearly useless laptop is all that they have. Totally no tech.

    Because for normal people a phone is all the tech they need. A tablet if they want a bigger screen.

    As was mentioned earlier, most peopel never needed a computer. But it was the only thing.

    And it is not no tech if you look carefully. They have a Smart TV, Alexa/FireTV, AppleTV, etc.



  • I have AMD Athlon x4 750K, which is very cheap and should be poor performance CPU, but thanks to mobile gaming and consoles , the competition for high CPU has diminished and folks mostly focus on going green and quiet and SFF.

    I know that some exisit that wants best i7 or AMD ryzen, but the way intel kept dragging the evolution so long due to lack of competition (not a real reason , the real reason is greed, look at Samsung SSD series, they have no competition but they still release better generation and not just 2% better) after ryzen then came up with i9 and quad core i3 but it was too late by then, now everyone is interested in Pi3 and its siblings cause they know in the future they will only get better and better without greed stopping that.

    I feel in 2018, you should only purchase from AMD cause that money will actually go to further x86 CPU development and research.



  • I don't have a PC anymore. I've not wanted to play a game for ages and if I do we have a PS3 PS4 Wii Switch.

    For day to day stuff my phone (for Facebook) and my tablet (for games) will do. I have a laptop for work but that only comes out if I need to do some serious typing and need to look at a website that doesn't look right on the tablet/phone. (Then if I need to do work from home)

    I bought my daughter a PC but a refurb so she can do homework. Then plan on getting the middle one a Chromebook at Xmas as she'll be in highschool

    I think for home tablet and phones will serfice for most people and kids.



  • I think computing in general is much more widely available now that many people don't think of the things they're using as computers, but it's a phone or tablet less if a computing device just because it doesn't sit on a desk? @scottalanmiller, you're right in that what most people think of as "the computer" isn't something most people feel they need anymore. I know you used Treo phones back in the day, did any of us early adopters not see this day coming?

    TLDNR: Nobody wants a computer when a phone or tablet is all they need.



  • @travisdh1 said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    I think computing in general is much more widely available now that many people don't think of the things they're using as computers, but it's a phone or tablet less if a computing device just because it doesn't sit on a desk?

    I think so, quite dramatically. Tablets and phones are content "consuming" devices. Whereas traditional computers are built around content creation or interaction. While it's the same CPU and RAM under the hood, more or less, the human interface and resulting interactions are dramatically different.

    No different than say video game consoles and general purpose computers. Sure, both are computers. But we know that having an XBOX doesn't really help kids with science homework, or parents with doing financial reporting.



  • @travisdh1 said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    you're right in that what most people think of as "the computer" isn't something most people feel they need anymore.

    This is what I find so interesting. What made a generation feel the need to be so savvy, technical, and able to do things like "work from home" and have home offices, and just generally do technical things (which could mean writing a book, going to school, doing science, tracking finances, etc.) And now it seems that so many of those activities are just left by the wayside.

    It's not that computing is taking a step backwards, computing is a means not an end. But it seems that everything that people do is taking a step backward.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    @travisdh1 said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    you're right in that what most people think of as "the computer" isn't something most people feel they need anymore.

    This is what I find so interesting. What made a generation feel the need to be so savvy, technical, and able to do things like "work from home" and have home offices, and just generally do technical things (which could mean writing a book, going to school, doing science, tracking finances, etc.) And now it seems that so many of those activities are just left by the wayside.

    It's not that computing is taking a step backwards, computing is a means not an end. But it seems that everything that people do is taking a step backward.

    No it is not. People are doing those things on their phones and tablets. For most people that is plenty.



  • @jaredbusch said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    @travisdh1 said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    you're right in that what most people think of as "the computer" isn't something most people feel they need anymore.

    This is what I find so interesting. What made a generation feel the need to be so savvy, technical, and able to do things like "work from home" and have home offices, and just generally do technical things (which could mean writing a book, going to school, doing science, tracking finances, etc.) And now it seems that so many of those activities are just left by the wayside.

    It's not that computing is taking a step backwards, computing is a means not an end. But it seems that everything that people do is taking a step backward.

    No it is not. People are doing those things on their phones and tablets. For most people that is plenty.

    This is where I don't think this is true. We used to maintain spreadsheets, for example, for all kinds of data. Are people doing this (or obviously, some suitable replacement) on their phones? I don't see this happening. Maybe people are using tons of apps that I am not aware of, but what I understand of normal usage is that it is far, far less technical than it was twenty years ago.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    @jaredbusch said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    @travisdh1 said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    you're right in that what most people think of as "the computer" isn't something most people feel they need anymore.

    This is what I find so interesting. What made a generation feel the need to be so savvy, technical, and able to do things like "work from home" and have home offices, and just generally do technical things (which could mean writing a book, going to school, doing science, tracking finances, etc.) And now it seems that so many of those activities are just left by the wayside.

    It's not that computing is taking a step backwards, computing is a means not an end. But it seems that everything that people do is taking a step backward.

    No it is not. People are doing those things on their phones and tablets. For most people that is plenty.

    This is where I don't think this is true. We used to maintain spreadsheets, for example, for all kinds of data. Are people doing this (or obviously, some suitable replacement) on their phones? I don't see this happening. Maybe people are using tons of apps that I am not aware of, but what I understand of normal usage is that it is far, far less technical than it was twenty years ago.

    I agree. Normal use can all totally be done on phones and tablets, primarily phones now.

    That is what makes up the majority.

    Those doing coding and content creation are STILL using laptops, that's not what changed. What changed is the "normal" majority, which is now no longer each person having a laptop or desktop, but a phone, and next a tablet.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    @jaredbusch said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    @travisdh1 said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    you're right in that what most people think of as "the computer" isn't something most people feel they need anymore.

    This is what I find so interesting. What made a generation feel the need to be so savvy, technical, and able to do things like "work from home" and have home offices, and just generally do technical things (which could mean writing a book, going to school, doing science, tracking finances, etc.) And now it seems that so many of those activities are just left by the wayside.

    It's not that computing is taking a step backwards, computing is a means not an end. But it seems that everything that people do is taking a step backward.

    No it is not. People are doing those things on their phones and tablets. For most people that is plenty.

    This is where I don't think this is true. We used to maintain spreadsheets, for example, for all kinds of data. Are people doing this (or obviously, some suitable replacement) on their phones? I don't see this happening. Maybe people are using tons of apps that I am not aware of, but what I understand of normal usage is that it is far, far less technical than it was twenty years ago.

    Heck I have the Phone, the tablet, the laptop a computer literally in every room and I still do stuff on my phone more often than not.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    @jaredbusch said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    @travisdh1 said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    you're right in that what most people think of as "the computer" isn't something most people feel they need anymore.

    This is what I find so interesting. What made a generation feel the need to be so savvy, technical, and able to do things like "work from home" and have home offices, and just generally do technical things (which could mean writing a book, going to school, doing science, tracking finances, etc.) And now it seems that so many of those activities are just left by the wayside.

    It's not that computing is taking a step backwards, computing is a means not an end. But it seems that everything that people do is taking a step backward.

    No it is not. People are doing those things on their phones and tablets. For most people that is plenty.

    This is where I don't think this is true. We used to maintain spreadsheets, for example, for all kinds of data. Are people doing this (or obviously, some suitable replacement) on their phones? I don't see this happening. Maybe people are using tons of apps that I am not aware of, but what I understand of normal usage is that it is far, far less technical than it was twenty years ago.

    Because they no longer need a spreadsheet to track their finances. It is all done by the bank website or by mint.

    Also, tools such as Google Apps and Microsoft Office Online provide this functionality.

    So, many people no longer need to do it because apps handle it for them. Then a lot more can do it all from their device without needing a computer.



  • @jaredbusch said in Are People Just Not Buying Computers Anymore?:

    Because they no longer need a spreadsheet to track their finances. It is all done by the bank website or by mint.

    This.



  • Any real spreadsheet work is just crap on a small screen. I have Office for Android, and I never use it because it's just a pain in the ass on a small screen. I also don't have a reason to work in spreadsheets on my phone.


Log in to reply