IDC says processor shipments dropped 17% in Q4, the worst decline since they started collecting the data in 1996. Netbooks, at a $300-400 price point, helped units a lot – if not for them, units would have dropped over 20%. IDC says processor shipments remain weak and will likely drop again in Q1 and Q2.
The Skew: Keep in mind the PC industry is huge. Unit shipments for 2008 were 30.8 billion. Netbooks are having very significant impact in order to move the bar on industry unit shipments like that. That trend will only continue, depressing average selling prices and reducing revenue generated from notebooks as netbooks are superior portable computers relative to existing notebooks for the needs of most users – they’re smaller, lighter, robust enough to run multiple applications and have longer battery life. In all seriousness, my netbook has turned “bringing my computer” from lugging a burdensome bag of bricks into something I don’t think twice about anymore. It’s that significant a difference.
PC shipments continue to weaken in this crummy and uncertain environment.