PC sales are in decline because of software, the high level of Australian PC penetration and improvements in component architecture, according to senior research analyst with channel research company Inform, Hakan Alac.
"The software pipeline is driving hardware sales," Alac told a recent industry discussion group. "When you consider the software releases over the past 15 years and the corresponding growth of worldwide PC sales, there are two notable trends. Firstly, the transition from DOS to Windows in the late 1980s saw enormous growth in PC sales as the performance of existing hardware was inadequate for the needs of the new operating system."
However, increases in chip speed and component architecture has provided enough computing power for subsequent releases of new software, he said. Combined with Australia's high penetration of PCs - 55 per cent of households - it has contributed to the current drop in PC demand.
According to Alac, there is a silver lining in the fact that peripherals sales are still strong. Inform figures show a steady increase in sales, in categories such as monitors, memory and printers and scanners.
"Just because PC sales are down doesn't necessarily mean consumers are not spending money on computers in general," Alac said.