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More doom for PC market

by on08 December 2015

IDC predicts only minor recovery next year

Beancounters at IDC have poured cold water on hopes that the PC market will do better next year.

After adding up the numbers and dividing by its shoe size, the divination department of IDC said that worldwide PC shipments will fall 10 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015, pulling on-year growth for all of 2015 down to negative 10.3 per cent.

The IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker said that the strong US dollar, depressed commodity prices, and existing inventory have also lowered the outlook for early 2016.

It still thinks that shipments will stabilise by the end of 2016 and grow slightly toward the end of the forecast as commercial replacements rise.

Beyond short-term declines, IDC remains optimistic that replacements of commercial and consumer systems will ultimately stabilize the market and even drive growth.

“Once commercial adoption of Windows 10 accelerates, and in combination with upgrades to steadily aging consumer PCs, we expect demand for new PCs to improve for several years as replacements will also be boosted by the end of support for Window 7, just as the end of support for Windows XP boosted shipments in 2014. Declining tablet volume, and minimal growth in mobile phones (despite the continuing shift to smartphones) will also reduce pressure for consumers to spend on non-PC devices,” the report said.

Loren Loverde , vice president, Worldwide Tracker Forecasting and PC research said there had been a substantial shift in spending and usage models from PCs toward tablets and phones in recent years.

Too few are giving up on their PC and they are making them last longer. The free upgrade to Windows 10 enables some users to postpone an upgrade a little, but not indefinitely.

“ Some consumers will use a free OS upgrade to delay a new PC purchase and test the transition to Windows 10. However, the experience of those customers may serve to highlight what they are missing by stretching the life of an older PC, and we expect they will ultimately purchase a new device. As detachable systems become more compelling (including attractive new Wintel designs), some volume will go to detachable tablets rather than traditional PC form factors, which will cut into the PC growth rate, but still supports the PC vendors and ecosystem," he said.

Detachable tablets will grow quickly but they are still a relatively small part of the market. Slate tablet competition is slumping.

IDC expects continued growth for all-in-one PCs as well as convertible and ultraslim notebooks. Going forward, these designs will continue to gain share, even in the face of stable PC volumes and competition from detachable tablets."

In the US, the consumer PC segment will continue to erode. Smartphones and tablets have increasingly eaten into the consumer share of wallet and kept PC purchases at the back of the refresh queue. Growth of the detachable tablet category will only further slow consumer PC shipments as some consumers elect to replace their existing PCs with the new form factors.

IDC believes that the declines in the US consumer PC segment will be somewhat offset by growth of commercial PC shipments through the forecast period. "
Windows 10 could reach enterprises faster than previous releases driving some commercial PC refreshes in the mid-term, IDC predicts.


Last modified on 08 December 2015
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