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IDC forecasts deeper declines in PC shipments for 2014

Gregg Keizer | March 6, 2014
No growth through 2018 at the least, says researcher, which means Microsoft will have a very tough time growing Windows revenue.

PC shipments to emerging markets, once the growth area, will contract even more than in mature markets, like the U.S., Western Europe and Japan, IDC predicted, citing that as a major cause of the continued slump.

Other factors contributing to the deeper declines in 2014, said IDC, are more-conservative estimates of touch-enabled PC sales; the tailing off of purchases by businesses to replace machines now running Windows XP; the culmination of several large-scale, government-driven projects in some countries; and the continued erosion of shipments by smartphones and tablets.

It could be worse, of course. Which is what some analysts -- Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies, for one -- expect. Although Bajarin is convinced that a major refresh of existing PCs may be in the short-term cards, he's skeptical that IDC's furthest-out forecast would hold.

"Short term blanket due to refresh. Followed by full contraction. They [IDC] are saying 280 [million] in 2018. Too high for me," Bajarin tweeted Wednesday. (Actually, IDC predicted nearly 292 million PCs will ship in 2018.)

"It is an extremely saturated market," Singh acknowledged, even as she stuck to her guns. "It may take two, three or four quarters, but stabilization will start in the U.S. and spread from there to other regions."

PC shipments 2014-18
IDC predicts that PC shipments will slump another 6% in 2014, with smaller declines each year through 2018. (Data: IDC.) Click on graph to enlarge.


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