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Editorial: Last Flare

Jun 23 2014, 02:47 IST
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SummaryThe recent surge in sales doesn’t mean a second life for the computer

Battered by the aggressive growth in smartphone and tablet sales, the computer was written off as a moribund market. But corporate purchases could, for the short-term, revive sales. JP Morgan, as per a report in Quartz, estimates that the average age of computers owned by companies is around 5-7 years. This means most of the desktop/laptop stock of the companies is in the throes of expiry, or has already expired, in terms of technology. Such obsolescence means that it is uneconomical to upgrade these machines. So, the computer market could remain buoyed for at least the next 12 to 18 months, as per a Moody’s estimate, as corporations look to replace their aged fleet.

Banking on the prospect of better desktop/laptop sales, Intel, the world’s largest chip-maker, raised its profit forecast for the second quarter earlier this month. Even Hewlett-Packard, whose quarterly figures were released in May, shares the optimism, noting a slowing contraction for the market. Lenovo, the world’s largest PC maker, has reported a 16% jump in laptop sales, to $4.8 billion. This is 51% of the total revenue the company has earned in the quarter ended March. Desktop sales at Lenovo also surged, by 14%. However, given how easy it has gotten to seamlessly integrate the much smaller, infinitely more portable smartphones and tablets with larger display units, a primary USP of computers—larger screens—is waning. So, it would bode well for computer-makers to recognise this resurgence for what it possibly is, the last flare before the flame goes out.

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