The PC market is alive and well, and more tech news you need to know

Your tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Monday, January 14.

1. There’s life in the ol’ PC just yet!

The PC market grew by a range somewhere between 2.3% and 4.8% in Q4 2019, according to research firms Gartner and IDC, which both released positive (and only slightly conflicting) news.

This matters, because it marks the first full year of growth in the PC category for the first time since 2011. Here’s how that looks (before 2019’s stats) according to Gartner, via Statista:

  • Clearly, adding Gartner’s data of rise of 2.3% for 2019 doesn’t get the PC industry back to its peak in 2011, but up is better than down.
  • Interestingly, Gartner doesn’t include Chromebooks or iPads, but IDC’s data which was more positive does include Chromebooks.
  • And for Macs, the news wasn’t great: shipments of Mac fell between -0.9 to -3% year-over-year in Q4, dropping Apple’s worldwide market share to between 7.1 and 7.5%, according to Gartner and IDC.
  • Here’s what senior principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa said about the PC market in Gartner’s report: “The PC market experienced growth for the first time since 2011, driven by vibrant business demand for Windows 10 upgrades, particularly in the U.S., EMEA and Japan,”
  • And over at IDC, Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers said: “This past year was a wild one in the PC world, which resulted in impressive market growth that ultimately ended seven consecutive years of market contraction. The market will still have its challenges ahead, but this year was a clear sign that PC demand is still there despite the continued insurgence of emerging form factors and the demand for mobile computing.”
  • Here’s the breakdown of vendor growth, per Gartner, showing strong performances by Lenovo and Dell, as Acer and ASUS slipped:

Windows 7 upgrades?

  • Microsoft has ended support for Windows 7 as of today. The impending (and now real) deadline has forced businesses and private PC owners all over the globe to update old devices to Windows 10, and often by buying entirely new hardware, per both Gartner and IDC.
  • That’s led to an increase in PC sales.
  • Yet, frighteningly, approximately 30 percent of desktop computers still use Windows 7, first released in 2009.
  • It’s now 11-years-old, so it’s been a pretty good run — here’s Microsoft’s Windows 7 end of life support info in case you need to know what to do. The lesson is: upgrade.
  • Windows 8 owners have until January 2023 before that end of life support ticks down.

Dual/folding devices, and 5G:

  • There’s some talk of new technologies giving PCs a boost later in 2020, as 5G rolls out, dual-screen devices like the Microsoft Surface Neo emerge, along with the folding-screen laptops we started seeing at CES.
  • These are going to take time to arrive, and Windows 10X is going to need to be rock solid for a powerhouse user experience.
  • Plus, over on the Apple side, the coming 13-inch MacBook Pro with updated keyboard is going to sell loads, I’d expect. Apple may rise again.

2. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra specs leak, but is it a real device? (Android Authority).


3. The era of pre-announcing smartphone features seems to be here, now OnePlus says the OnePlus 8 will have a “120Hz Fluid Display”, just like the Samsung S20 (Android Authority).


4. Apple said it is helping the Pensacola shooting investigation, but won’t unlock the shooter’s iPhones: “We reject the characterization that Apple has not provided substantive assistance in the Pensacola investigation” (BuzzFeed). Also, Microsoft CEO says encryption backdoors are a ‘terrible idea’ (The Verge).


5. Apple might be developing a ‘Pro Mode’ to speed up Macbooks (9to5Mac).


6. The European Parliament is looking at forcing companies to use a common charger “for all mobile phones”. Happily, the industry is already consolidating around USB-C, including iPhones either this year or next, so …it’ll happen anyway? (europarl.europa.eu).


7. How digital sleuths unraveled the mystery of Iran’s plane crash (Wired).


8. Visa is buying Plaid, a financial services API startup that powers much of new fintech startups backends like Venmo: a cool $5.3 billion changes hands (TechCrunch).


9. These are the most frequently checked-out books in the history of the New York Public Library (NPR).


10. Dr. Phil Metzger with some detailed knowledge about moon dust, rocks, and how we simulate the moon’s environment on earth with coarse quartz sand containing no dust (Twitter).


11. “What can never be filmed or photographed, thus never observed by humans?” (r/askreddit). “We’ve never actually seen the core of our own planet and I doubt we will ever actually see it,” is, sadly, a pretty good answer.


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Source of the article – Android Authority
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