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By 27 August 2012 | Categories: news

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After recently analysing the state of the smartphone market during Q2 2012, market analytics company IDC (International Data Corporation) turns its attention to the PC market’s performance  during this period. The market research firm has lowered its PC outlook for this year, as a result of PC shipments having declined during Q2 2012.

According to the IDC, the global PC market is now expected to grow by just under a percent (0.9%) during 2012, as mid-year shipments slow down. The firm’s worldwide quarterly PC Tracker service forecasts that 367 million PCs will ship into the market this year, marking the second consecutive year where market growth is below 2%.

Contributing factors to slow growth

Slowing growth in Asia/Pacific region has reduced the impact of emerging market growth, while more mature regions such as the US have seen volume decline. According to the IDC, PC buyers have been hard hit by the prevailing weak global economic conditions.

In addition to this, the customers who are able to spend on new PC purchases are holding off on acquisitions until the release of new Windows 8-running hardware and upcoming ultrabook releases. These potential PC clients are also considering spending their money on other products, the likes of media tablets and smartphones, the IDC stated.

The end of this year should see a modest improvement on the economic front, however  consumers and companies are expected to be cautious with spending and deciding to replace older products the IDC said. This will put a damper on medium- and long-term growth prospects, and the IDC now expects global PC shipment to increase 7.1% on average from 2013-2016, down from the 8.4% previously forecast for 2012-2016.

“The US market will remain depressed until Windows 8 products hit the shelves in the fourth quarter of 2012. The industry is responding by reducing shipments of PCs and clearing Windows 7-based inventories to pave the way for a new generation of systems. But, as we move into the tail end of the third quarter, PC activity will continue to slow as demand drops. The third-quarter back to school season is also proving to be a challenging period, despite prices dropping to their lowest levels. We expect the year will end with shipments in the US falling by 3.7%, marking the second consecutive year of contraction,” said David Daoud, research director, personal computing at IDC.

Jay Chou, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker service added: “IDC remains optimistic that PC penetration opportunities in emerging markets will form the bulwark of the market and help sustain double-digit portable PC growth in the long run. However, a host of all-too-familiar variables will lead to a subdued second half of the year with only consumer notebooks remaining in growth mode for all of 2012.”

“Factors such as Windows 8 coupled with Ultrabooks could present a positive turn of events next year, but it also faces some initial hurdles; chief of which is that buyers must acclimate themselves to an operating system that is a dramatic departure from existing PC paradigms. The PC ecosystem faces some work to properly educate the market,” Chou concluded.


Chart: Total Worldwide Desktop PC vs. Portable PC Shipments, 2011 - 2016 Emerging vs. Mature Markets (Shipments in Millions)Description: Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, August 23, 2012Tags: IDC, tracker, PC, forecast, emerging, forecasts, 2012, 2013,Ultrabooks, Ultrabook, Windows 8, mature Author: IDCcharts powered by iCharts

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