CPU Shortage, Dated GPU Inventories Hurting PC Sales - IDC

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Research firm IDC has predicted that Intel’s ongoing CPU shortage, muffled interest in gaming PCs with old GPUs inside and the holiday-centric nature of tablet buying would all lead to a global decline in the personal computing devices (PCD) market in 2019.

In a report announced March 7, the research group said that it expects the drop in PC shipments in 2018 to continue this year. It did foresee a few bright spots— detachable tablets and business laptops—but they're overshadowed by other factors with traditional PCs and tablets.

The IDC explained in its forecast for 2019: “Though easing up, the CPU shortage may hamper some entry-level device volume. Gaming PCs, whose momentum had been building for much of 2018, will also face some short-term challenges as the market works through older GPU inventory and the gaming ecosystem warms up to Nvidia's latest offerings.”

Intel and Nvidia’s struggles have been well documented. The former hasn't been able to keep up with demand for its CPUs, which has reduced sales of other parts because it’s leading many people to delay system upgrades. The latter made too many GPUs, and its new ones are too expensive for many people to afford.

Fitting, then, for the IDC to find potential in devices that don't rely on the latest from Intel and Nvidia. Detachable tablets, some of which are known as 2-in-1s and convertible laptops, sell because of their novelty rather than their performance. And businesses are mostly worried about Windows, according to the IDC.

“On a brighter note, although the commercial PC market is expected to see a small dip in 2019 compared to the previous year, the commercial notebook forecast has been raised for 2019. IDC expects a sizable amount of last-minute Windows 10 migration projects to be completed this year, especially among SMBs with an aging installed base," IDC said in its announcement. 

Overall, the company expects unit shipments would fall 3.2 percent in 2019 and continue to fall until 2023. 

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.