Thursday, April 11, 2013

Morning Brief: Greek unemployment hits 27.2% in January; PC shipments fall sharply in Q1 despite launch of Microsoft's new OS, Windows 8

The unemployment rate in Greece hit another record high in January, according to EnetEnglish, the English language website of Eleftherotypia. The rate now stands at 27.2 percent., with youth unemployment now at 59.3 percent.

Last January of 2012 unemployment stood at 21.5 percent, around 15 percent in January 2011 – meaning that the rate of unemployment in Greece is increasing at a rate of 6 percent per year. It is inconceivable that this can continue for much longer without serious consequences for both the Greek democracy and the Eurozone, in general.

International Data Corporation (IDC) reported yesterday that global PC shipments declined by 13.9 percent compared to the same quarter in 2012, far worse than the forecast decline of 7.7 percent.

"At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market," said Bob O'Donnell, IDC Program Vice President, Clients and Displays. "While some consumers appreciate the new form factors and touch capabilities of Windows 8, the radical changes to the UI, removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices. Microsoft will have to make some very tough decisions moving forward if it wants to help reinvigorate the PC market."

"Although the reduction in shipments was not a surprise, the magnitude of the contraction is both surprising and worrisome," said David Daoud, IDC Research Director, Personal Computing. "The industry is going through a critical crossroads, and strategic choices will have to be made as to how to compete with the proliferation of alternative devices and remain relevant to the consumer. Vendors will have to revisit their organizational structures and go to market strategies, as well as their supply chain, distribution, and product portfolios in the face of shrinking demand and looming consolidation.

HP shipments fell more than 23 percent in Q1, by far the worst performing company in the IDC report. Dell shipments fell 10 percent globally and 14 percent in the United States.