IDC predicts PC sales will continue to struggle

pc sales keep dropping but not as fast they used to build pcs

Lenovo recently posted encouraging PC financial results, and so did Microsoft, mostly boosted by Surface Pro 3 popularity. Add continuously thriving Chromebook sales in the equation and you’d expect to see the computing market as a whole prosper after years of pain and sorrow.

Unfortunately that’s not the case according to the International Data Corporation, although PCs are at least beating forecasts in their latest drop. IDC previously anticipated computer shipments would fall by 3.7 percent in 2014 compared to 2013. Now, the market research firm feels confident in predicting the decline will sit at below 3 percent.

Specifically, 2.7 percentage points, with emerging countries making it impossible for mature markets to carry their burden. Yes, PC sales in the US, Western Europe, Japan, and Canada are on the rise a promising 7.1 percent in total. But Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia/Pacific cancel out the growth with a steep 9.9 percent slump.

That’s less drastic than last year’s 11.3 percent recession, so there’s a glass half-full part about every aspect of IDC’s report. The report also predicts emerging and mature markets will stabilize by 2018.

Right now we’re looking at close to 307 million PCs shipped and to be shipped during 2014, of which 133 million fall in the desktop category, and 173 million in the portable (i.e. notebook) category. If IDC’s long-term projections pan out these numbers will mostly remain the same through 2018. They may drop slightly, but the trend should be nowhere near the dramatic pace of the last few years.

These are just projections, remember. IDC’s view remains contrary to Gartner and Strategy Analytics, both of which predict that PC sales with rise in 2015.

That seems like a pretty safe bet, with Windows 10 systems expected to debut on store shelves in no more than 12 months. What happens after may well depend on the success of Microsoft’s operating system. Fingers crossed, everybody.