It’s just we’re all waiting longer in between upgrades…

At least that’s what Intel CEO Brian Krzanich stated on the first day of June at the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference in New York. Kraznich was fairly adamant in his belief that the ‘PC is not dead,’ even if right now, he admitted, it was a ‘declining market.’

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Instead, Kraznich postulated that the real reason the PC market had remained in a continual slump for so long was the fact that these days, older machines were more than capable of doing all the things that the majority of people wanted from a computer. And there is a lot of truth in that statement.  Current operating systems such as Windows 10 can run, and run well enough not to require faster processors and more memory, negating the requirement to upgrade.

The rise of smartphones, phablets and tablets have all led to a decrease in demand for traditional style computers as people change the way they use technology and also connect to the internet and use the World Wide Web. Coupled with the knowledge that one of the current rising trends in the market is for the 2-in-1 tablet/computer hybrid, the market for what consumers want is also changing.

“Right now, it’s easier to move your phone to a new phone than your PC to a new PC,” Kraznich also said. As a company, and an industry, he noted, this was something that needed to be addressed.

The “replacement cycle for the PC has extended…Four years was the average, now it has moved to about five to six years.”

In essence, Kraznich was saying that consumers are waiting longer before they buy a new PC. Part of this new reality is down to the simple fact that for a lot of end users, buying a new PC or laptop means starting again from scratch, having to reinstall all their software, transfer all their files, and spend time customising their desktops to get the setup they want. For many, it can be a long drawn out process.

Others simply don’t bother, leaving their old machines operational when they want to find a file or a certain photograph. Whereas when someone buys a new phone, all their data can be transferred in a matter of minutes in the shop.

“We’ve got to go fix some of those things,” Kraznich concluded, admitting that if companies such as Intel wanted their users to upgrade on a more frequent basis, and get back to the 3 to 4 year cycle, instead of the nearly 6 years the rate is at now, they would have to supply the impetus and innovation to do so.

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