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PC sales decline by 9.8 per cent, according to IDC

by Tarinder Sandhu on 6 March 2014, 17:00

Tags: IDC

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Research firm IDC has repeatedly cut its forecasts for PC shipments, primarily reasoning that smartphone and tablet sales have eroded the usual PC install base.

According to the IDC Worldwide Quarter PC Tracker, PC sales in 2013 are down by 9.8 per cent on 2012, which is slightly better than the predicted 10.1 per cent downturn issued late last year. In total, some 315.1m notebooks and desktop computers were shipped last year, and IDC expects this number to fall to 295.9m in 2014 followed by a more modest decrease, to 291.7m, in 2015.

The general slowdown was more keenly felt in the emerging markets, where year-on-year shipments dropped by 11.3 per cent. "Emerging markets used to be a core driver of the PC market, as rising penetration among large populations boosted overall growth," said Loren Loverde, Vice President, Worldwide PC Trackers.

PC Shipments by Region and Form Factor, 2013-2018 (Shipments in millions) 


Form Factor




Emerging Markets

Desktop PC




Emerging Markets

Portable PC




Emerging Markets

Total PC









Mature Markets

Desktop PC




Mature Markets

Portable PC




Mature Markets

Total PC










Desktop PC





Portable PC





Total PC




* IDC projections

Showing just how wrong large research firms can be, IDC's predictions, back in 2011, suggested that 438.4m PCs would be shipped in 2013.

Of course, such predictions don't take the build-it-yourself market into account. Anyone with a brief knowledge of PCs is able to build a competent PC themselves, often comfortably bettering the specifications of pre-built systems from the larger integrators. Research from JPR highlights that GPU shipments are, in contrast to PC sales in general, on the rise

HEXUS Forums :: 8 Comments

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Doesn't say anything about how many people are using a pc though when you take into account how many more people are building their own and upgrading old pcs.
It shouldn't really be a surprise anyway - fewer people need PCs nowadays, my folks use their tablets for almost everything and only turn on the computer to write the odd longer document or navigate crazy flash pages
I think that surveys such as this also fail to take into account that there are far fewer junk computer dealers out there as well - they've been weeded out, and the kit on the market today, and for the last few years, really, have been far less likely to fail than they were in the last decade. That, and for the most part, desktops, in particular, are far easier to fix and/or upgrade, unlike the ink jet printer market, which pretty much is a disposable item market - I don't know about the UK, but I can buy a new printer with ink cheaper here in the US than I can a new pair of ink cartridges.
I don't know about the UK, but I can buy a new printer with ink cheaper here in the US than I can a new pair of ink cartridges.
pretty much the same here…. it's a bit stupid really when you can buy a replacement printer with inks for less than just the ink….

This drop in pc sales is pretty simple to explain really…
lack of disposable income so people are making do with what they have, it's not like a pc from the last 10 years can't manage what 80-90% of home users use their pc's for, web browsing and letters aren't exactly stressful lol. If they have spare money they'll buy a tablet pc because the desktop is still doing fine and ‘want to keep up with the neighbours’.

Hardcore users such as gamers/professionals work on a different cycle so often upgrade to the newest parts as they come out or at the end of their workable life
A dip in the market is not a surprise but I don't think it heralds the death of the desktop PC as some have been claiming. There is always going to be a requirement or a desire for some to have desktop PCs, I'm sure not going to get rid of mine in a hurry. Apart from keeping the kit up to date for newer games, tinkering with my PC is just as much of a hobby as playing the games on it.