The end of the PC… As we know it

Desktop sales are all a bit depressing just now aren’t they? Well all hope is not lost, in fact in the next few minutes I’m going to explain why I think we are entering a new age of resurgence for desktop computing. Firstly let’s start with the bad, respected research firm Gartner Inc. have recently reported that PC sales, “..have declined for the eighth straight quarter, the longest-lasting decline in the industry’s history.” It doesn’t get much more doom and gloom than that, does it?

Global PC Sales have declined for the eighth straight quarter, the longest-lasting decline in the industry’s history.

 

With this in mind many are saying, “it’s the end of the desktop,” and with Gartner going on to blame the fact that most consumers now own as many as three computing devices and among these devices their desktop PC or laptop is no longer their key priority, it’s easy to understand why they might feel this way. But, as with many things in the world, I think it’s all about the way you read the figures and if like me, you are manufacturing PCs, in turn how you position yourself in the marketplace.

What if I was to tell you that firms like HP, Lenovo and Google have all seen an increase in PC hardware profits in recent times, what would you think? You might think I’m wrong, but I’m not. Each one of these businesses has seen their PC hardware profit increase, HP’s operating profit was 4.3% or better in the last two quarters, in fact HP’s PC business is at it’s highest operating profit since 2012.

HP’s operating profit was 4.3% or better in the last two quarters, in fact HP’s PC business is at it’s highest operating profit since 2012.

How can this be? Well, essentially going into 2017 there are two places you can look to be successful with PC:

1: You either need to be like Google’s Chromebook, cheap as chips and offering incredible value for money.

2: Or you can be like Microsoft, who with the release of highly innovative products like the new Surface Studio PC are successfully luring people away from Apple desktop solutions and in turn making money.

At Utopia, I can happily say that in 2016 we have had our most successful year to date. The fact is, building PCs and laptops can indeed still be profitable for the indie retailer, but there is a catch, you have to love doing it and you have to be extremely good at it. In fact, scratch that, I would argue that you have to be flawless. To lure clients away from global brands in 2017 you are going to need to wow them with service, deliver performance that others can not and provide direct solutions to their problems. Microsoft’s Surface Studio PC is not going to be a success simply because it looks good, it genuinely will help digital artists be more productive. This is where I believe Apple have went wrong in recent times, their products have stopped solving actual problems. At Utopia, we have been able to solve problems, wow clients and grow our market share.

At Utopia, we have been able to solve problems, wow clients and grow our market share.

With a clear and unwavering focus on the higher end of the market and with our ASP (Average Selling Price) moving up to just under £2500 per system in recent months we are convinced we have a formula for success. In fact we are proud to have through, hard work and innovation broken a sales record at Utopia just last month. We sold our highest value desktop PC, coming in an eye-watering £16,000 it didn’t have any of the water cooling and gorgeous paintwork that a lot of our clients expect when they think of Utopia, this was just a pure thoroughbred, killer desktop PC. Through learning how to harness the very latest in technology from the likes of Intel and Kingston we have managed to push the boundaries of performance and through working with institutions like the University of the West of Scotland we are now providing credible technology solutions to existing clients, who had been comparing us to HP and Dell and we came out top! As the team at Utopia move forward into 2017 we welcome it with open arms, we look forward to continuing to innovate and more importantly continue to do what we love.

So in closing, the PC is far from dead, the only thing that is dead is the boring beige box that we sometimes think of when we think of desktop PCs. I predict we are in fact moving into one of the most exciting and innovative times for desktop technology since Windows 95 was released, yes I just dropped the Windows 95 bomb!

Cheers,

Craig – Utopia Computers

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