Searching for silver linings
Market researcher IDC is reporting a drop of 1.9 percent in worldwide PC shipments in the last quarter of 2008. It's predicting an acceleration of that decline in the first half of this year, but expects positive growth to return in Q4 09
Any positive growth shown at the end of this year has to be viewed in the context of the precipitous falls that will have preceded it. The IDC announcement doesn't specify whether these percentage changes are sequential or year-on-year, either way Q4 09 will only have to improve on some pretty poor figures to show growth. IDC expects PC shipments to fall by over eight percent in the first half of this year.
In the search for further reasons to be cheerful, IDC observes that PCs are effectively half the price they were at the start of the last recession in 2000. Furthermore they're more central to everyone's lives and thus "less likely to be sacrificed in tough times."
One interesting focus concerns replacement cycles. Observing that PC shipments were growing more rapidly in the five years before 2001 than they were in the past five years, IDC reasons that "a larger share of existing systems will need to be replaced sooner." Also portable PCs, which have become the most popular type, have a shorter lifespan than desktops.