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PC sales have been devastated by tablets. But now tablets are losing steam, with even Apple reporting a decline in iPad sales in the most recent quarter.
Worldwide tablet shipments fell nearly 10 percent in the second quarter compared with the first quarter, according to an August study from IDC.
Whatever the reasons for the slowdown, the recent cycle of earnings reports this summer shows how widely the infection is spreading.
Some big technology companies, of course, have had years of trouble, such as BlackBerry, Nokia, Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard. And then there is the buyout saga of Dell, which seems stuck in the PC slow lane in a world speeding by with mobile devices.
But many others who faltered were surprising. In recent weeks, Oracle, Intel, Nvidia and IBM reported poor earnings, with the latter reportedly cutting up to 8,000 jobs.
This summer, earnings disappointed on the same day for Google and Microsoft, which took an ugly write-down of $900 million because of poor sales of its Surface tablet. Apple’s growth slowed, though its earnings report sent its stock soaring in part because the news wasn’t as bad as many had feared.
These earnings blues are not isolated. According to Zacks, profits in the tech sector in the first and second quarters declined 4.5 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively, from a year earlier.