Following a rather sobering Q2 PC market report from Gartner yesterday, IDC has also released some worrying news about the state of the PC market. IDC researchers estimate that shipments fell 0.1 percent from the same quarter last year. The company said that the result is below the projected path of 2.1 percent overall growth for the year, but are in line with slow growth for Q2 and accelerating growth for Q3 and Q4.
Of course, much of that growth would depend on notebooks and the adoption of Ultrabooks, which not only carry Intel's hope to sell more processors, but the hopes of an entire industry that you and I will walk into Best Buy, Fry's or hhgregg and replace an aging system with an ultrathin expensive notebook. Apparently, that has not happened yet on a wider scale, as IDC estimates that only 500,000 Ultrabooks were sold in H1. This compares to forecasted sales of about 225 million notebooks for the year. We remember that Ultrabooks were predicted by Intel to capture about 30 to 40 percent of the market once fully available. "Ultrabooks have not yet produced a significant rise in volumes – in part due to anticipation of improvements such as Windows 8, which is expected later this year, but also due to pricing," IDC said.
From a regional view, the U.S. PC market is developing into a significant concern for the industry. "The U.S. market suffered a double-digit contraction in the second quarter as market saturation and economic factors combine with anticipation of Windows 8 and other changes later in the year. In this context, consumers are delaying purchases, and vendors and retailers are slowing down their PC activities to clear existing inventories," said IDC's David Daoud. "The situation is exacerbated by consumer notebook saturation, a slowing replacement cycle in the commercial sector, and the big macro-economic and political events affecting confidence and spending." Even worse, Daoud believes that Windows 8 will not show its impact on PC sales until Q4.