PC sales to decline again by 6pc in 2014 and beyond – report

5 Mar 2014

As the tablet and smartphone markets continue their dominance in the tech sector, desktop PC shipments are expected to fall by a further 6pc in 2014 and even further by 2018.

The report released by the International Data Corporation (IDC) has actually noted that the previously released estimates of a 10.1pc decline in PC shipments during 2013 was slightly above the realised figure of 9.8pc.

The group also noted that the fourth quarter of 2013 showed the more established markets were marginally ahead of their previous expectations but this is not expected to continue longer than the short term.

The move by Microsoft to end support for its popular Windows XP operating system in April this year has, according to the IDC, affected the emerging markets. For the last number of years, those markets have been the sectors showing any signs of improvement.

Despite this, there still remains little positive news for the world’s desktop PC manufacturers.

“Emerging markets used to be a core driver of the PC market, as rising penetration among large populations boosted overall growth,” said Loren Loverde, vice-president of Worldwide PC Trackers. “At the moment, however, we’re seeing emerging regions more affected by a weak economic environment, as well as significant shifts in technology buying priorities.

“We do expect these regions to recover in the medium term and perform better than mature regions, but growth is expected to stabilise near 0pc, rather than driving increasing volumes as we saw in the past.”

However, according to its 2018 estimates, laptops and other portable computers are expected to see a rise in the emerging markets in the next four years as the traditional desktop PC continues its decline. According to the figures, in 2014 there will be estimated laptop shipments of 87.2m units, which is then expected to rise to 94.5m units in 2018.

PC chart

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic