Personal computers are losing their luster everywhere — blame better smartphones, net-enabled TVs, etc. — but Japan is, as usual, out in front on the issue.
Japan’s PC market is already shrinking, leading analysts to wonder whether Japan will become the first major market to see a decline in personal computer use some 25 years after it revolutionized household electronics — and whether this could be the picture of things to come in other countries.
“The household PC market is losing momentum to other electronics like flat-panel TVs and mobile phones,” said Masahiro Katayama, research group head at market survey firm IDC.
Overall PC shipments in Japan have fallen for five consecutive quarters, the first ever drawn-out decline in PC sales in a key market, according to IDC. The trend shows no signs of letting up: In the second quarter of 2007, desktops fell 4.8 percent and laptops 3.1 percent.