Perhaps a sign that the times are changing, personal computers (PCs) during the second quarter of 2012 accounted for less than half of all DRAM shipments, the first time in a generation that this has happened, according to data by IHS iSuppli. PCs' share of DRAM shipments dipped to 49 percent, down from 50.2 percent in the first quarter.
"The fall is notable, given that the share of PCs hasn’t dipped below 50 percent since the 1980s, when personal computers were a new product whose sales were rising at rapid clip," IHS iSuppli explains. "After accounting for the overwhelming share of DRAM buying for decades, average PC share from the first quarter of 2008 until the fourth quarter of 2011 hovered at approximately 55 percent, with share fluctuating periodically but generally trending down."
IHS iSuppli says the downward market share trend symbolizes the decline of the PC market due to rising demand for smartphones and tablets. At the same time, the firm says this doesn't mean people will stop using PCs, or even that the PC market will stop expanding.
"What the post-PC era does mean is that personal computers are not at the center of the technology universe anymore—and are seeing their hegemony over the electronics supply chain erode," said Clifford Leimbach, memory analyst at IHS. "PCs are no longer generating the kind of growth and overwhelming market size that can single-handedly drive demand, pricing and technology trends in some of the major technology businesses."