IDC: Declining Market for Personal Computing Devices

Unit shipments for the global PC devices market, comprised of traditional PCs, tablets and workstations, is expected to contract by 3.9% in 2018, according to IDC. This decline is expected to continue throughout the forecast period, as the market shrinks to 383.6 million units shipped in 2022, with a five-year CAGR of -1.5%.

Despite the decline in overall shipment volume, the market is expected to grow 3.6% in terms of dollar value to $237.3 billion in 2018, fueled by 2-in-1s (detachable tablets and convertible notebooks), ultraslim notebooks and even desktops, particularly ones used for gaming. Senior analyst Jitesh Ubrani remarked:

“AlthOLC9PYr7 400x400ough average time spent on a PC has declined substantially in the past few years, the need for better designs and greater performance has continued to grow. The market for gaming PCs provides a much needed uplift in the short term and beyond that, we still anticipate the need for performance-oriented machines that cater to designers, AR/VR related tasks and even to creators that are part of the YouTube generation”.

Among the various form factors, desktop PCs are expected to see a CAGR of -2.7%, as most of these devices are destined for the commercial market, where lengthy refresh cycles and saturation are contributing to a steady decline in shipments. Slate tablets, along with traditional notebooks and mobile workstations, share a similar outlook, with five-year CAGRs of -5.3% and -9.1% respectively.

IDC Personal Computing Device Forecast 2018 2022 1

Meanwhile, ultraslim notebooks and 2-in-1 devices share a much more positive outlook, as the categories are forecast to achieve CAGRs of 7.8% and 9.3% respectively. Research director Linn Huang added:

“While the ramlinnhuangp of convertibles and detachables has been more crawl than run, the category on the whole continues to build momentum. Strong form factor appeal, the continued growth of gaming and even the ascent of Chromebook as a consumer device in North America will all play an important role in bolstering the critical holiday season that is looming”.

IDC Trends