The campaign is a nod to that reality, said Stephen Baker, an analyst with the NPD Group. With the PC industry suffering shipment declines over the last 15 straight quarters, the business is now almost entirely one of replacing existing machines.
"It is a replacement market," said Baker, citing data from his research firm that pegged household ownership in the U.S. at 80%, a number that's held steady for quite some time.
What's been hampering PC sales, even replacement purchases, has been the massive shift toward mobile, primarily smartphones but to a lesser degree tablets, with which most consumers now spend the bulk of their time. Although they probably still own a PC, consumers use it much less than before, and so see little reason to spend money on a brand new device that they would use just as infrequently.
"The thrust [of this campaign] is to find a way to shave the replacement cycle," argued Baker, referring to the time between PC purchases. "This is more about why you need to keep up with your PC even when you spend most of your time on your phone."
When the PC Does What? blitz ends, the individual companies plan to pick up with separate marketing campaigns, which will pitch their own products to consumers as the holiday sales season gets serious.
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