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2013 PC Shipments To Fall 10.1%: IDC

Framingham, Mass. – Worldwide shipments of PCs to consumers will fall 15 percent this year and there is little reason to believe the category will see positive growth in the future, according to a report by IDC.

IDC noted that several different reasons to not buy a new PC are now pressing down on the category. The primary cause remains consumer interest in tablets and smartphones, but second is that there is no compelling reason for people to go out and replace their current computer.

This could be offset somewhat by the new crop of Windows-based hybrid tablet/laptops. IDC is predicting that this product segment will grow to 39.3 million units in 2017, up from 7.5 million units this year.

Also, helping alleviate the pain is the commercial sector. It will perform somewhat better, falling only 5 percent, but the overall 10 percent decline is the most severe contraction in the PC market on record. Even emerging markets will not be able to counteract the drop in interest in desktop and portable computers.

However, this increase will do little to offset the overall downward spiral of the PC category.

Total PC shipments worldwide will fall to and then stabilize around the 300 million mark over the next few years, IDC said. About 314.4 million computers will ship this year, dropping to 305.1 million in 2017. The decrease is greater in mature markets where desktops will fall from 50.3 million this year to 42.7 million in 2017, while portable units will go from 81.8 million to 78.1 million in four years.

Worldwide portable models offer the lone bright spot. Shipments will decline to 178.6 million this year from 201.1 million in 2012, but will then climb a bit to 184.1 million in 2017 as businesses go into a replacement cycle.