IDC: Mature Market PCs Perform Above Emerging Regions

IDC expects worldwide PC shipments to fall 3.7% this year. While still a decline, the figure represents an improvement from the previous forecast of -6%.

Emerging regions’ shipments are constrained by continued competition from alternative devices, as well as various economic and political situations. However, results in Q1 and Q2’14 were boosted through commercial demand and a slight uptick in consumer interest – improving the prediction for the second half.

Mature regions’ PC shipments will grow 5.6% YoY in 2014: the highest level since 2010. However, the emerging market forecast has been lowered slightly due to the above issues. Reduced stability and poor economic conditions are especially apparent in the APAC, LATAM and CEMA regions.

Commercial demand in mature markets (due to Windows XP’s end-of-life) is still seen as the primary short-term PC driver. Competition from tablets has also fallen, as the market becomes saturated and demand shifts to smaller sizes, which compete less with PCs. Additionally the introduction of slim, low-cost models with touch is helping PCs to combat tablets. The prospects for long-term growth are still tenuous, however. The XP replacement cycle will slow over time, and consumers “increasingly see PCs as only one of several computing devices”, according to IDC’s Jay Chou. PC replacement cycles have also lengthened.

The launch of Windows 9, expected next year, may boost demand. Until the advantages of the OS become more apparent, however, its impact will be difficult to evaluate. IDC still expects PC demand to come primarily from replacements, with overall shipments declining slightly towards 2018.