I’ve lost count. I’ve bought either six or seven Japanese home PCs since coming to Japan and would be lost without my beloved computer. My wife often jokes that I love my PC more than her because I spend more time in my home office than I do in the living room. I solved that problem by setting up Skype on her laptop so she can call me from downstairs!
Mami rarely uses her laptop. In fact, she struggles to find her way around the Windows desktop. In all honesty, it was a waste of money because she really doesn’t need it. As a housewife, she has no need for Microsoft Office and she can email her friends and browse the web from her cell phone. Now, her laptop is just a clunky piece of furniture she rests her coffee cup on.
Cell phones replace the Japanese home PC
My wife is just an example of many Japanese who have stopped using home computers. Few Japanese bring their work home, and use their cell phones for everything from email and internet, to photos, music and video. These days, you can bypass computers altogether by sending your cell phone’s photos, music and video directly to your printer, home stereo or television.
ContraCostaTimes.com reports that in Japan, flat-screen TVs, iPods, cameras and video game machines are higher on the priority list than a home PC. So, could this be the end of the Japanese home PC market?
Overall PC shipments in Japan have fallen for five consecutive quarters, the first ever drawn-out decline in PC sales in a key market, according to IDC. The trend shows no signs of letting up: In the second quarter of 2007, desktops fell 4.8 percent and laptops 3.1 percent.
Japan is the first major PC market to shrink after 25 years of solid growth. Do you think we will see the same decline in other major markets? Will the home PC once again be a toy reserved for computer geeks?
Inspired by the article, PC market running out of steam in tech-savvy Japan.If you have a comment, find me on Twitter at @longcountdown. I'd love to hear from you!