Windows 10 Will ‘Stabilise’ PC Market

2015 will be the fourth consecutive year of declining PC shipments, says IDC, with a 6.2% fall forecast. The market continues to struggle, with competition from tablets and smartphones and generally low demand. While shipments were stable in mid-2014, thanks to the end of Windows XP, that cycle has been replaced by a reduction in inventory on the supply side as the market awaits Windows 10.

IDC expects the next version of Windows to be a significant contributor to the PC market, providing an upgrade path from Windows 7 for business users. However, a surge in new shipments is not expected, due to the free consumer upgrade from Windows 7 and newer platforms. While the consumer transition should happen quickly, the free upgrade option reduces the need for a new PC; IDC expects most consumers to continue to place more importance on spending on new mobile devices.

The commercial segment will evaluate the OS before committing to it, says IDC, and most new shipments will be replacement systems.

There will be touch competition from other devices and weak spending in many regions, said IDC’s Loren Loverde. PC shipments will stabilise in 2016 and see limited growth over the coming years.

Returning to the current market, IDC noted that the strong US dollar and weak commodity prices have constrained spending – especially outside the USA. The consumer market has been especially affected; however, commercial demand is stronger in both emerging and mature regions.

PC Shipments by Product Category and Region (Millions)
Product Category Region 2015 Units 2019 Units 2015 Market Share 2019 Market Share 5-Year CAGR
Portable PC Mature 87.9 90.4 30.4% 30.7% 0.7%
Emerging 79.3 85.0 27.4% 29.8% 1.7%
Total 167.2 175.4 57.9% 59.6% 1.2%
Desktop PC Mature 47.1 45.4 16.3% 15.5% -0.9%
Emerging 74.7 73.3 25.8% 24.9% -0.5%
Total 121.8 118.8 42.1% 40.4% -0.6%
Total PC Mature 135.0 135.9 46.7% 46.2% 0.2%
Emerging 154.0 158.3 53.3% 53.8% 0.7%
Total 289.0 294.1 100.0% 100.0% 0.4%
Source: IDC