The International Data Corporation's (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker reports that PC shipments in 2013 are expected to decline 1.3-percent. The forecast is based on poor holiday sales, an "underwhelming" reception to Microsoft's new Windows 8 platform, and a continuing economic "malaise" that further crimped IT budgets in the second half of 2012.
Taking that one step further, the report claims that PC shipments dropped 8.3-percent in 4Q12 compared to 4Q11, the most "substantial" decline recorded for a holiday quarter. Even emerging market growth potential is declining, slowing down to the same speed of growth seen in mature regions.
"2012 marked the first year that emerging markets have seen a volume decline, and while 2013 will return to growth, it is projected at less than 1-percent and with modest, single-digit growth through 2017," the report states. "For mature regions, 2013 will mark the third consecutive year of volume declines. IDC continues to expect limited growth in 2014 and 2015 with contracting volume in later years."
According to a provided chart, 148.4 million desktop PCs shipped worldwide in 2012, 95 million of which were in emerging markets and 53.4 million in mature markets. In 2013, the total number of worldwide shipments are expected to be 142.1 million, spanning 91.6 million units in emerging markets and 50.4 million units in mature markets. By 2017, only 141 million desktop PCs are expected to ship worldwide that year.
"The PC market is still looking for updated models to gain traction and demonstrate sufficient appeal to drive growth in a very competitive market," said Loren Loverde, Program Vice President, Worldwide PC Trackers at IDC. "Growth in emerging regions has slowed considerably, and we continue to see constrained PC demand as buyers favor other devices for their mobility and convenience features. We still don't see tablets (with limited local storage, file system, lesser focus on traditional productivity, etc.) as functional competitors to PCs – but they are winning consumer dollars with mobility and consumer appeal nevertheless."
Portable PCs, like laptops and Ultrabooks, are expected to gain traction in emerging markets within the next several years. In 2012, 110.9 units were sold, and IDC expects to see 115.5 units sold in 2013 and 148 million units in 2017. In mature markets, the numbers seemingly stay flat, with 91.1 million units in 2012, and an expected 88.3 million units in 2013 and 93 million units in 2017.
For more information about IDC's new report, head here.