Worldwide PC shipments are expected to decrease further in 2013, reflecting continued expansion of mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones at the expense of traditional computers, according to new data from the International Data Corporation, or IDC.
IDC said that PC shipments will fall by 9.7 percent in 2013, marking the end of emerging market growth that the PC industry had come to rely on in recent years. The market, as a whole, is expected to decline through at least 2014, with only single-digit modest growth from 2015 onward.
"The days where one can assume tablet disruptions are purely a First World problem are over," Jay Chou, senior research analyst at IDC, said in a statement on Thursday.
According to Chou, although there have been some advancements in PC hardware segment, “the current PC usage experience falls short of meeting changing usage patterns that are spreading through all regions, especially as tablet price and performance become ever more attractive.”
IDC does anticipate a slow rebound in the PC market after 2014, as consumers are expected to refresh their existing systems, while businesses are likely to consider other platforms beyond Windows 7. However, according to IDC, the recovery in the PC market will be lukewarm without a sufficient mass of compelling applications.
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“Aside from stubbornly depressed consumer interest, 2013 also marks the first year where emerging regions are expected to contract at a steeper rate than mature regions. Leading this trend is China’s revised forecast, which calls for a double-digit decline in shipments this year compared to 2012,” IDC said.
Meanwhile, the technology research firm has also modestly lowered its forecast for tablet computers for 2013 and beyond, due to growing competition from larger smartphones and the prospect of new categories such as wearable devices diverting consumer spending.
According to IDC, worldwide tablet shipments will reach 227.4 million units by end of 2013, down from a previous forecast of 229.3 million but still 57.7 percent up from shipments in 2012. Despite a slight slowdown this year, IDC said the tablet market will continue to grow at a rapid pace and by 2017 worldwide shipments could reach nearly 407 million units.