The consumer segment of the market for personal computers has slowed compared with corporate buying, and that will be a problem for PC makers such as Hewlett-Packard and Dell, analyst Robert Cihra of Caris & Co. told CNBC Tuesday.
"Consumers only have so many dollars to go around," he explains. "If they're buying tablets, they're not buying PCs," he said. It doesn't mean the PC market is going away but it does mean it is slowing—with one exception.
Cihra believes Apple will outperform other PC makers thanks to those same tablet computers. He expects 18 percent growth from Apple, about four times the market growth this year, while Dell and HP will grow 4 percent this year, with HP's PC revenue lower. Chira expects only mid-single-digit growth at best for the PC market this year.
Mehdi Hosseini, senior analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group, says the semiconductor makers are also faring badly, and that is due to tablets because they use 50 percent fewer chips than PCs.
He said the weakness has been broadbased, across the board and the industry will "remain under pressure for several more quarters."
Hosseini said he would avoid chip makers, "but if investors must have exposure we like Teradyne and Taiwan Semiconductor .
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Disclosure information was not available for Mehdi Hosseini and Robert Chira or their companies.