Although some claim the rapid adoption of tablets has ushered in a so-called post-PC era, one HP executive begs to differ.
HP printing and personal systems group executive vice president Todd Bradley said in an interview with PC World that the notion PCs are declining as tablets take over is plain nonsense.
"Look, it's just wrong. Just think of the decision when your child is going off to college," Bradley said. "What's a requirement? A PC. Or you run a business and need your employees to be productive. You need a PC. The size of the global PC business is huge, and I think some people are trying to be dramatic."
Bradley may have his dander up, but the PC market is clearly in trouble. During the second quarter, HP's own PC shipments fell 13 percent. Dell's dropped 10 percent. Citigroup semiconductor analyst Glen Yeung reported earlier this month that the third quarter could be the PC industry's worst ever.
"We were looking into the supply chain over the course of August, and really everywhere you looked, PC data points are bad. What we're ultimately going to end up with is the worst third quarter in the history of PCs this quarter, so obviously the outlook is pretty dire," Yeung said.
Meanwhile, tablet shipments are on the rise. Research firm IDC reported yesterday that it expects 117 million tablets to ship this year, up from its previous estimate of 107 million. In 2011, 70.9 million tablets shipped worldwide.
Yet IDC's own analysts aren't ready to declare the onset of a post-PC era, either. Bob O'Donnell, IDC's program vice president for clients and displays, told CNET in February that we're really in the "PC-plus era. People owning PCs plus other devices."
"Tablets will occupy a unique place," he said. "PCs will occupy a unique place. But and more with the ability to work together."
HP's Bradley doesn't dismiss the importance of tablets himself, though he'd clearly rather emphasize the importance of PCs. "There is a growing role for tablets, and we will absolutely be a significant force in that space," he told PC World.