IDC Downgrades PC Shipments Forecast From Bad To Worse


IDC Thursday downgraded its 2013 forecast for PC shipments from bad to worse, estimating that sales will take a near double-digit 9.7 percent dive. The market research firm said PC shipments will inch up in 2014 but will head downhill from then on.

PCs will "never regain the peak volumes last seen in 2011," IDC said.

The doom and gloom surrounding IDC's forecast is no surprise to VARs or anyone tracking large PC makers Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo.

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"Hardware has gotten so powerful, and Windows 7 is a stable; there is no compelling reason to buy a new PC," said Andrew Cohen, president and founder, SMR Consulting, based in Newton, Mass. Upgrade cycles can last five years, Cohen said. "Over the last few years, the number of PCs I sell has been headed one way: down."

"Without an adequate mass of compelling applications, the PC market is poised to subsist primarily on lukewarm replacements in the future," said Jay Chou, senior research analyst, at IDC.

IDC said PC growth is stymied by mobile devices, specifically among emerging markets. IDC said PC makers can no longer rely on "emerging market growth that the industry had come to rely on in recent years."

The U.S. market was stronger than expected, IDC said, with PC shipments driven by system refreshes, businesses upgrading to Windows 7, all thanks to an improving economy. Weak demand for PCs in China is largely blamed for this year's shipment shortfall.

Chou said advances in PC hardware and software, such as power efficiency of x86 processors and Windows 8.1, are encouraging; however, PCs just can't compete with a changing mobile world dominated by tablets.

PUBLISHED AUG. 29, 2013