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Report: PC Shipments Will Drop 1.3% in 2013

Even growth in emerging markets in slowing down for desktops.

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.

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  • 17 Hide
    wanderer11 , March 6, 2013 2:22 PM
    The problem is for most people their 6 year old core 2 duo still browses the internet fine. Most people have no reason to upgrade.
  • 11 Hide
    plasmaj12345 , March 6, 2013 2:45 PM
    wanderer11The problem is for most people their 6 year old core 2 duo still browses the internet fine. Most people have no reason to upgrade.


    This, but also the fact that a lot of people do not do work that requires the processing power of a good PC. For most people, a laptop that is similarly priced to a PC looks more attractive since its mobile and can be taken on the go.
Other Comments
  • 17 Hide
    wanderer11 , March 6, 2013 2:22 PM
    The problem is for most people their 6 year old core 2 duo still browses the internet fine. Most people have no reason to upgrade.
  • 11 Hide
    plasmaj12345 , March 6, 2013 2:45 PM
    wanderer11The problem is for most people their 6 year old core 2 duo still browses the internet fine. Most people have no reason to upgrade.


    This, but also the fact that a lot of people do not do work that requires the processing power of a good PC. For most people, a laptop that is similarly priced to a PC looks more attractive since its mobile and can be taken on the go.
  • 5 Hide
    athulajp , March 6, 2013 2:57 PM
    The problem is people like mobility too much, there's no benefits in having a desktop if people:

    Play games on consoles,

    Do their work on laptops due to the portability it offers.

    If you want to sell more PC's, find smart ways to make smooth transitions between the two where the PC genuinely offers benefits, or find a way to sell PC's to people in a way that they need to put in as little effort as possible. The consumer is lazy, and all the other solutions are the best options for them. Turbo dock by AMD seems to be the way to go about it, offer people improved performance through 'docking' to a proper desktop.
  • 6 Hide
    twelve25 , March 6, 2013 3:04 PM
    All this sky is falling talk over 1.3%?

  • 1 Hide
    jaber2 , March 6, 2013 3:14 PM
    I could buy a new pc or I could just buy a new tablet, it does most of what I want where ever I am in the house, I still keep the old pc for some old software but eventually there will be better tablets that I will end up dumping my old pc.
  • 0 Hide
    koss64 , March 6, 2013 3:25 PM
    Honestly I believe that the slump in PC sales has more to do with the economy and the fact persons dont have the cash to be spending on new PC and if they do its minimal. As a system builder orders have been down for about a year, persons who would at the drop of a hat buy a new laptop or PC are now thinking about it. Its not that persons dont want PC's (especially the teenagers I interact with on a regular basis , show them a Windows 8 PC and they go crazy) but the money just isnt there.
  • 4 Hide
    cookoy , March 6, 2013 3:37 PM
    Last time i bought a new laptop was to have usb3 only. See no compelling need for touch screen.
  • 4 Hide
    classzero , March 6, 2013 3:55 PM
    Windows, 8 the desktop killer
  • 3 Hide
    drwho1 , March 6, 2013 4:09 PM
    The last PC that I bought was close to 20 years ago.
    (have been building my own PC's ever since)

    I did bought my ONLY Notebook close to 3 years ago, and I see no reason to buy another Notebook
    any time soon. I just needed something on the go while still resembling an actual PC.
    (mission accomplished)

    I built a NEW PC every 5 years or so, while in between "keep it up" with some upgrades in between.
    Id it wasn't because I like to "keep up", probably I wouldn't "need" to build a new PC that often at all.

    Even when I do like to play games.
  • -1 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , March 6, 2013 6:00 PM
    PCs will be replaced by tablets connected wirelessly or wired to server racks in our homes. This will happen especially when people can play their Steam library on tablets.

    Besides tablets the other reason for PC slowdown is bad economy and also because the next generation of consoles has not been released. Game developers prefer to make games so they work on all major platforms so they don't have to design multiple different versions of their games because that's easier and cheaper. This means the hardware requirements for PC games is very low because they are also very low for consoles now since the consoles are now so old. So no need really for PC gamers to upgrade their hardware. Game makers can't be bothered to make a special higher tech version of games for PC because they can't make much money there because of piracy being so much easier to do on PC making games sell several times more on consoles than PC.
  • 1 Hide
    g-unit1111 , March 6, 2013 6:28 PM
    Let's define PC shipments here. Are we talking crappy pre built systems here - you know the Dells, Gateways, Alienwares, eMachines, etc. Or are we talking custom built rigs - PC parts? Because the latter isn't going away any time soon. But the sooner we can get the crappy pre builts off the shelf the better.
  • 1 Hide
    goodguy713 , March 6, 2013 6:47 PM
    IndignantSkepticPCs will be replaced by tablets connected wirelessly or wired to server racks in our homes. This will happen especially when people can play their Steam library on tablets.Besides tablets the other reason for PC slowdown is bad economy and also because the next generation of consoles has not been released. Game developers prefer to make games so they work on all major platforms so they don't have to design multiple different versions of their games because that's easier and cheaper. This means the hardware requirements for PC games is very low because they are also very low for consoles now since the consoles are now so old. So no need really for PC gamers to upgrade their hardware. Game makers can't be bothered to make a special higher tech version of games for PC because they can't make much money there because of piracy being so much easier to do on PC making games sell several times more on consoles than PC.



    I dont really agree with your statement on piracy because steam and origin pretty much eliminate that as an alternative. I dont think i have bought one game that was a physical media disk sense warcraft battle chest .. and to be honest that was just spur of the moment purchase. i have over 100 titles and i have bought them all either on steam or origin or amazon.. so its pretty mute arguement. at least on my end. lol as for pc sales .. i would say its more then likely a combination of lack of innovation and or lack of disposeable funding needed to purchase a computer and or need. especially when the majority still either has pentium 4 or core duo processors people who are educated tend to build there own computers knowing you get a better deal and often time better warranties from manufactures and with tools and reviews from sites like this makes it a much more intelegent purchase desion. so reports like this should be taken with a grain of salt . there are no reliable metrics for the build your own market. unless you go off of sheer parts / componets sold by manufactuers
  • 0 Hide
    dextermat , March 6, 2013 7:26 PM
    And the price will drop ?
  • 0 Hide
    wysir , March 6, 2013 7:36 PM
    the average consumer only needs average-powered technology (tablets,laptops). The advanced consumer will likely build their own desktop.
  • 0 Hide
    warezme , March 6, 2013 8:48 PM
    wysirthe average consumer only needs average-powered technology (tablets,laptops). The advanced consumer will likely build their own desktop.
    Prettymuch, the average user is one step away from tripping over their own slobber and the average user with money will buy a Mac because it makes them feel smarter and superior which is not lost on irony.
  • 0 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , March 6, 2013 9:24 PM
    goodguy713I dont really agree with your statement on piracy because steam and origin pretty much eliminate that as an alternative. I dont think i have bought one game that was a physical media disk sense warcraft battle chest .. and to be honest that was just spur of the moment purchase. i have over 100 titles and i have bought them all either on steam or origin or amazon.. so its pretty mute arguement. at least on my end. lol as for pc sales .. i would say its more then likely a combination of lack of innovation and or lack of disposeable funding needed to purchase a computer and or need. especially when the majority still either has pentium 4 or core duo processors people who are educated tend to build there own computers knowing you get a better deal and often time better warranties from manufactures and with tools and reviews from sites like this makes it a much more intelegent purchase desion. so reports like this should be taken with a grain of salt . there are no reliable metrics for the build your own market. unless you go off of sheer parts / componets sold by manufactuers


    I believe I was basing my game sales figures on VGChartz but maybe that site excludes Internet download sales and only includes retail sales.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 6, 2013 9:29 PM
    my system is around 2 years old it has an AMD x6 1090T cpu, 120gb agility3 ssd main drive with windows 8 pro +1.5tb software drive, dual booted with a 500gb hdd with Linux mint, 16gb ddr3 1333, amd HD6850 .. this system dose every thing I need it to and is more than I really need, so I have no need to upgrade for anything faster or better this system is ample and will be for a long time yet, also I just don't have the money to upgrade if I did have then yea I probs would of even though I don't need to, the problem for me is with the high cost of living in the uk I simply no longer have any money spare for those type of items.
  • -1 Hide
    madjimms , March 7, 2013 12:15 AM
    Funny seeing how any comment where someone highlights the benefits of a tablet gets thumbs down.

    My wife has a Nexus 7 & I'm very jealous that she can take it pretty much anywhere & browse the web for the entire day without needing to charge it again, some of the games are even half decent, although most are pretty crappy "free" (demo type) games.

    I can imagine in the next 10 years current gen desktop hardware could be standard in tablets (well, I hope)
  • 0 Hide
    nebun , March 7, 2013 2:32 AM
    this article is wrong....if you think about it, all types of smartphones and tablets are considered personal computers
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 7, 2013 4:20 AM
    Clearly the problem is Modern UI. I know serveral people who WOULD buy Windows 8 if it was not for Modern UI. They don't consider start menu replacements a serious alternative as they feel they don't want to rely on third party software for something as basic as a functioning UI.
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