Yes, ARM scares PCs

PC market forecasters have lowered their previously enthusiastically high sales forecast for 2010 from an annual growth (over 2009) of 18% down to 14% – which is a 32% reduction.

32 percent! 

That was quite a miss; the ole crystal ball must have had some dust on it.

The reason for this massive cut back in the PC forecast is due to – tablets. 

Yes, according to some market researchers, people who have, or will buy a tablet are doing so in lieu of buying a PC.

Tablets are certainly popular, well a tablet is popular – the iPad. 

But it’s so popular 20 companies have announced versions of the new form factor due to hit the shelves within the next four months.

Apple is expected to ship about 13 million iPads this year, and except for a few windows based units, that’s the only tablet shipping.

But the difference in PC shipments from the previous forecast to the current one is a whopping 100 million units. 

That’s due, the forecasters tell us, to weaker consumer demand.

But if there’s weaker consumer demand, then who is buying the tablets?

Of course, the undercurrent of all this is ARM vs. Intel.

Tablets run on ARM, PCs run on Intel. PC sales forecast are going down, ARM sales seem to be going up. 

The forecast for tablets in 2011 ranges as high as 50 million, which seems ridiculous, but forecasters love those big numbers – they help sell reports. 

So a potential 50 million tablets craters over 100 million potential PC sales – what’s wrong with this logic? 

How about you just admit the truth fellas, you have overestimated the growth due to pressure from the PC suppliers to make it look good.

*Jon Peddie, John Peddie Research