PC shipments will decline just over 10% worldwide in 2013 – the worst slump on record – with “little indication of positive growth beyond replacement of existing systems,” according to the latest update from the IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.
In the latest report, IDC analysts revised a previously forecast 9.7% decline, projecting that global PC shipments will drop an additional 3.8% in 2014 “before turning slightly positive in the longer term.
Commercial PC sales (down 5% in 2013) are holding up much better than consumer PC sales (down 15%), due to the stability of purchasing plans, less impact by tablets and replacing Windows XP systems before support is due to expire in 2014. Nonetheless, IDC foresees similar longer term outlooks for both market segments: small declines in 2014 and flat shipments thereafter.
The data illustrates a trend that many Finley clients see firsthand. Customers are increasingly using other devices to connect to the Internet, including tablets, game systems, TVs, and smartphones. PCs are no longer required in the household to take advantage of broadband. Some service providers are effectively using tablets, Roku boxes, and other non-PC devices in marketing campaigns to stimulate broadband demand.
This trend will only accelerate, as the remaining PCs in customer homes may not get replaced. "Perhaps the chief concern for future PC demand is a lack of reasons to replace an older system," commented Jay Chou, senior research analyst at IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.