The PC market is still hanging around and certainly will never fade away, but sales of traditional PCs are dropping to distressingly low levels for the industry. Market research firm IDC today released a new report showing that PC shipments worldwide (desktops and portables together) fell by 9.8% during the fiscal year 2013, down to just over 315 million units shipped.
Though the drop is alarming, the fourth quarter 2013 numbers were, according to the report, higher than expected. IDC pins this on businesses and consumers upgrading from the doomed XP operating system - a market force that will not be a factor for much longer. Other features that manufacturers had hoped would spur PC sales (such as touchscreens) have not proved popular enough to turn around the PC market and the failure of the Windows 8 OS is putting even further pressure on the market.
Even so-called emerging regions saw negative growth for 2013, with consumers turning towards inexpensive tablets and smartphones for their computing needs. IDC is predicting that PC shipments will continue to decline by 6.1% this year before nearly bottoming out with -0.8% growth in 2015.
"Emerging markets used to be a core driver of the PC market, as rising penetration among large populations boosted overall growth," said Loren Loverde, VP of 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 stabilize near zero percent, rather than driving increasing volumes as we saw in the past."
Image courtesy Lenovo