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Best Buy CEO: Tablet sales are crashing

Hubert Joly attributed the PC revival partly to Microsoft stopping support for the older Windows XP operating system.
By Ananth Baliga   |   July 30, 2014 at 3:37 PM   |   Comments

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MINNEAPOLIS, July 30 (UPI) -- Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly said that personal computers are making a comeback, as sales of tablets, touted as laptop-killers, are dwindling.

In an interview with Re/Code's Walt Mossberg, Joly said Wednesday that despite the early boom in tablet sales, these numbers are falling drastically and the personal computer, which was all but written off, is marking a revival largely due to Microsoft's decision to stop providing support for Windows XP, prompting users to switch to newer technology.

"The tablets boomed and now are crashing. The volume has really gone down in the last several months. But I think the laptop has something of a revival because it's becoming more versatile," said Joly.

Joly also said that the line between a laptop and tablet was blurring with Microsoft's Surface. The Surface, he said, can function as both a laptop and tablet, giving consumers, especially students, added benefits and flexibility when it comes to investing in a device.

Joly, later in the interview, said that "crashed" was a strong word to describe the sales of tablets.

"Yeah, 'crashed' is a strong word. So, the tablets have been an unbelievable phenomenon. I don't think there's a category that ever took off so quickly and so big in the history of tech," said Joly.

Despite Joly's optimistic view of the laptop, PC sales aren't dropping but they aren't growing either. According to IDC, PC sales fell by 1.7 percent year-over-year last quarter, whereas Gartner estimates 0.1 percent growth in the same time period.

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