Sometimes bigger is better. Michael Dell thinks so for Internet devices.
Smartphones and tablets won’t hurt PC sales. They will drive people to buy more of them, Dell said in Bangalore on Monday.
Using the Internet on a four-inch smartphone is like viewing sites through “a peephole,” he said. “So think of these small mobile devices as creating the next wave of users who will want larger-screen devices,” Dell told a reporter from IDG News.
He could be right. In a report released in October, IDC said year-over-year worldwide PC shipments increased by 3.6 per cent in the third quarter of last year. Lenovo and HP did particularly well in the U.S.
Lenovo has been on a particular winning streak, outpacing overall PC market growth by 10% to 20% in the past nine quarters. But HP grew a respectable 5.3% year-over-year for the third quarter, too.
But Dell’s PC sales slipped 1.6% from the previous year.
IDC didn’t lay Dell’s troubles at the feet of tablets and smartphones. “Although we don’t see media tablets and other devices replacing PCs, questions on how products will evolve, and consumer interest in these and other categories are providing a distraction,” said the report’s author, Loren Loverde. “Still, there are opportunities, as demonstrated by Lenovo’s gains, and we expect PCs to find stronger demand in the coming years.”
Dell did post better growth in developing areas like the Middle East and Africa, IDC said. It also did well in mobile-device-loving Asia. These areas generally have more mobile subscribers than PC users because having a phone is considered more important.
So Dell thinks it’s only a matter of time before big screen lust hits and these folks get themselves a proper screen.
We’ll see if he’s right. Tablets have already hurt some categories of PCs like the netbook. Even the Dell Mini is dead.