Projections from IDC predict six percent fall in PC shipments this year and zero percent long term growth rate
The global PC market will continue to decline sharply for at least the next five years, according to new projections from IDC.
The firm’s latest Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker predicts that PC shipments will continue to decline up to 2018, with a projected 6 percent drop in shipments during 2014.
IDC now expects global PC shipments to fall to around 295.9 million units this year, with long-term growth projected to remain at just below zero percent. The report showed that worldwide PC shipments fell by 9.8 percent in 2013, which is slightly better than a projected decline of 10.1 percent, but was still ‘the most severe contraction on record’.
The impending end of Windows XP was one of the factors contributing to the slight improvement in PC shipments, with users in developed markets looking to upgrade their XP machines to newer models. This is not predicted to last much longer, however, with Microsoft confirming that support for the software, which was originally launched in 2001, will be discontinued from 8 April.
PC shipments were expected to be boosted by demand from emerging markets, however competition from other devices such as tablets and smartphones, alongside rising economic pressures, meant this was not the case.
“Emerging markets used to be a core driver of the PC market, as rising penetration among large populations boosted overall growth,” said Loren Loverde, vice president, Worldwide PC Trackers at IDC. “At the moment, however, we’re seeing emerging regions more affected by a weak economic environment as well as significant shifts in technology buying priorities.
“We do expect these regions to recover in the medium term and perform better than mature regions, but growth is expected to stabilise near zero percent, rather than driving increasing volumes as we saw in the past.”
The firm also expects that increasing political strife in Asian markets may affect future figures, particularly in countries like India, Indonesia and Thailand, which are all due to hold elections this year with the results impacting on IT and commercial spending.
“2014 will remain a challenging year for PC vendors in Asia as a cautious economic outlook means consumers will prioritise device purchases,” said Andi Handoko, research manager for client devices at IDC Asia/Pacific. “The region is also seeing a void in public sector spending this year after huge education deals seen in India and Malaysia last year failed to materialise.”
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