IDC changes forecast PC sales forecast as emerging markets fail to perform

March 5
9:29 AM 2014

Global market intelligence firm IDC predicted that a 6% decline in the PC market will be felt this year and that this trend will continue to be felt until 2018, TechCrunch reported.

IDC said that unit volume for laptops, desktops and other traditional PCs, will continue to fall to 291.7 million units in 2018 from last year's 315.1 million units. The figures don't include Android tablets, Surface devices and iPads, the report said.

This prediction differs from IDC's forecast in December when the research firm said PC shipments for this year will fall to 3.8% but will become "slightly positive in the longer term." Had this been the case, the shipments would be kept above 300 million units for an undetermined length of time, the report said.

This could only mean that something has caused the IDC to change its forecast. In this case, IDC puts the blame on the poor performance of the emerging markets. Although emerging markets did as they were expected to do in the fourth quarter, its expectations were lowered because of "concerns about the impact of slower economic growth, the culmination of some large projects, and conservative expectations for factors like touch capability, migration off of Windows XP, as well as continued pressure from tablets and smartphones," the report said.

Although IDC said the PC market used to be driven by the emerging markets, the limitations felt there caused the research firm to decrease its forecasted growth rates. Thus, instead of a PC market that would sell upwards of 300 million units, the prediction showcased that of an industry that could not stave off its own decline, the report said.

While good news can hardly be seen in IDC's change of mind, there's still a glimmer of hope. Before the data was released, IDC most likely already tested the waters for the quarter and while the data will most likely be weak, the current decline will not be as bad as the 13.9% plunge experienced in the first quarter of last year, the report said.

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