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Will Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Apple Inc. (AAPL) Be Hit by this Downturn?

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When it comes to PC shipments, there are many companies hoping for a turnaround. While Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may not be as concerned as Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), thanks to its prowess in the tablet and smartphone markets, it is safe to assume that both companies are keeping a close watch in the direction in which the industry is headed.

As you likely know by now, PC shipments have been declining in most regions throughout the world. This is due in large part to the growth of the tablet and smartphone market. For example, people would rather carry and iPad or Surface tablet than work on a PC. This may be a change to the way things were done a few years back, but you should expect more of the same in the years to come.

Just how quickly the PC market dies off is anybody’s best guess at this point. That being said, there are signs in many parts of the world that this is coming sooner rather than later.

Digitimes is reporting that PC shipments in Taiwan are down in the first quarter of 2013.

Citing statistics provided by IDC Taiwan, here is how bad things have become in this market in a relatively short period of time:

“There were 637,604 desktops and notebooks shipped in the Taiwan market during the first quarter of 2013, decreasing 9% on quarter and 16% on year, and the corresponding shipment value of US$408.9 million dropped 12% and 5%, respectively.”

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)As you can see, this is no small change in the Taiwan market. Instead, it is a change that has likely impacted both Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) among many other companies.

As noted above, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) have to hope that their other products, including smartphones and tablets, pick up the slack.

While these numbers are grim, the second half of 2013 may be a bit better:

“Shipments of desktops and notebooks together in the Taiwan market in the second quarter will grow 5% sequentially, and shipments in the second half of 2013 will rise 18%. Whole year shipments will slip 10% from 2012.”

Overall, the Taiwan PC market is declining. The impact on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has yet to be seen in its entirety, but this is something we will be watching carefully in the months to come.

For more information on this story, including a chart depicting the drop-off, visit the next page.

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