PC Market to Shrink Further This Fall


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PC sales during the holiday 2012 quarter disappointed manufacturers, and PC shipments have been declining industry-wide throughout 2013. Those some industry-watchers have predicted sales will pick up as back-to-school shopping ramps up, a new analyst report is continuing to predict falling PC sales throughout the rest of the year.

IDC this week released estimates showing that global PC shipments are expected to drop by 9.7% year-over-year. PC sales are expected to decline throughout next year, and are not expected to regain the highs seen years ago.

In addition to the requisite blaming of the rise of mobile phones and tablets as a cause of the decline, the analyst is also predicting a slowdown of PC sales in emerging markets. IDC expects growth in emerging PC markets to slow even faster than in western markets. China in particular is predicted to see "double-digit" year-over-year PC shipment declines by the end of this year. Though PC manufacturers have been relying on these emerging markets to shore up sales in recent years, it seems the tablet and smartphone markets have quickly caught up.

"The days where one can assume tablet disruptions are purely a first-world problem are over," said Jay Chou, senior research analyst at IDC. "Advances in PC hardware, such as improvements in the power efficiency of x86 processors remain encouraging, and Windows 8.1 is also expected to address a number of well-documented concerns. However, the current PC usage experience falls short of meeting changing usage patterns that are spreading through all regions, especially as tablet price and performance become ever more attractive."