Skip to main content

Why the PC Market Continues to Spiral Downward

Waiting for the personal computer (PC) market to recover now seems pointless. Worldwide PC shipments are expected to fall by -9.7 percent in 2013, further deepening what is already the longest market contraction on record, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

The new forecast reflects not only a continued expansion of mobile device options at the expense of PCs, but also marked the cessation of emerging market growth that the industry had come to rely on in recent years.

The market as a whole is expected to decline through at least 2014, with only single-digit modest growth from 2015 onward. It's now believed that the PC market will never regain the peak volumes last seen in 2011.

While the results of the second quarter were in line with forecast, a number of issues led IDC to further downgrade its PC outlook. Aside from stubbornly depressed consumer interest, 2013 also marks the first year where emerging regions are expected to contract at a steeper rate than mature regions.

Leading this trend is China’s revised forecast, which calls for a double-digit decline in shipments this year compared to 2012, as channel sources report high levels of stagnant inventory and continued enthusiasm for tablets and smartphones.

The repercussions of a slowing China, anxiety over the possible tapering of the U.S. quantitative easing program, and weak intrinsic PC demand are among a litany of factors that have rippled across portions of other formerly strong-growth areas, leading emerging markets as a whole to see declines through at least 2014.

"The days where one can assume tablet disruptions are purely a First World problem are over," said Jay Chou, senior research analyst at IDC.


Why is the PC market outlook so negative? The current PC usage experience falls short of meeting changing usage patterns that are spreading through all regions, especially as media tablet price and performance become ever more attractive.

Looking beyond 2014, IDC expects a very slow rebound, driven in part by modest consumer refresh of systems whose lifecycle have dramatically lengthened in recent years, as well as businesses taking a first serious look beyond Windows 7. However, without an adequate mass of compelling applications, the PC market is poised to subsist primarily on lukewarm replacements in the future.

The second quarter of 2013 was the third consecutive quarter where the U.S. market came through stronger than the worldwide market. This was largely due to some recovery in the overall economy and channel inventory replenishment. Following the stronger than expected 2Q13, IDC expects the second half of 2013 to restore some volume momentum driven largely by better channel involvement of top vendors and industry restructuring/alignment.

IDC also anticipate operating system migration (Window XP to 7) will drive some volume in the commercial segment. Entry-level ultra-slim systems and lower-priced convertibles will also be bright spots in an otherwise still troubled consumer market.

Popular posts from this blog

Digital Transformation Investment at $3.4 Trillion

Business technology leadership matters. Across the globe, more leaders have been pursuing bold Digital Transformation (DX) initiatives with the goal of creating new sources of business value through digital products, services, and experiences. As an additional benefit, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed that digital transformation efforts improve an organization's resilience against global market disruptions. Global DX investment is forecast to reach $3.4 trillion in 2026 with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.3 percent, according to the latest worldwide market study by International Data Corporation (IDC). Digital Transformation Market Development "Despite strong headwinds from global supply chain constraints, soaring inflation, political uncertainty, and an impending recession, investment in digital transformation is expected to remain robust," said Craig Simpson, senior research manager at IDC . The benefits of investing in DX technology -- including aut

Artificial Intelligence for National Border Security

National border protection agencies are under pressure to provide the highest level of security in the face of growing threats, such as increasing illegal migration and international terrorism. Now, government agencies are embracing advanced border security technologies to aid in effectively and reliably securing national borders. These solutions look to detect and identify potential threats and prevent them from escalating to a point that may jeopardize security. Security Surveillance Market Development Traditional border security patrols and Closed-circuit Television (CCTV) surveillance systems aren't adequate protection, and agencies must increasingly deploy new solutions to stay ahead of criminals and other potential threats to ensure the safety of a country’s borders. According to the latest market study by Juniper Research, the value of the border security technology market will exceed $70 billion globally in 2027 -- that's rising from $48 billion in 2022. Growing by 47 p

How to Apply Sustainability to Drive Value Creation

Global climate change policy initiatives have been an emerging topic for CEOs and their leadership teams, as they look to the future. Many organizations are preparing to play their part and help reduce carbon emissions. Eighty-seven percent of business leaders expect to increase their organization’s investment in sustainability over the next two years, according to the latest worldwide market study by Gartner. Customers are the stakeholder group creating pressure for these organizations to invest or act on sustainability issues -- selected by 80 percent of executives, followed by investors (60 percent) and regulators (55 percent). Sustainability Market Development "Sustainability enables businesses to cope with disruption," said Kristin Moyer, VP analyst at Gartner . "Economic uncertainty, geopolitical conflict and escalating materials and energy costs are forcing businesses to reexamine all forms of expenditure." According to Gartner, this focus on essentialism --