Research firm IDC expects PC shipments to fall again drastically this year

Gateway DX 4885 UB3A front angle

These days, it seems as if there are three certainties in life: death, taxes and annual decreases in PC shipments.

According to research firm IDC, PC shipments will fall by 10.1 percent this year, which is lower than their initial projection of 9.7 percent. 2014 doesn’t figure to be a resurgent year for the PC either, with shipments expected to fall by another 3.8 percent, though IDC expects shipments to remain above the 300 million mark annually, which they say is “barely ahead” of 2008 figures.

What’s driving the fall of the PC’s popularity? After consumers spent big bucks to replace their systems year after year, they’ve seemed to wise up and reform their tech spending patterns, instead adopting an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fit it” approach. There’s more though. Here’s what Jay Chou, Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide Quarterly PC Trackers at IDC had to say about this trend.

“Perhaps the chief concern for future PC demand is a lack of reasons to replace an older system. While IDC research finds that the PC still remains the primary computing device – for example, PCs are used more hours per day than tablets or phones – PC usage is nonetheless declining each year as more devices become available. And despite industry efforts, PC usage has not moved significantly beyond consumption and productivity tasks to differentiate PCs from other devices. As a result, PC lifespans continue to increase, thereby limiting market growth.”

If the PC can’t find a way to set itself apart from tablets and smartphones that can essentially perform the same consumption tasks that PCs can, it’ll be difficult for PCs to experience any amount of significant growth down the line. The productivity experience reigns supreme on PCs, but it’s likely only a matter of time before tablets begin shipping with ultra-awesome, razor-thin keyboards that provide solid typing experiences that can rival what’s offered on the PC, though that might not happen for a few years. 

Though the PC may be in a free fall in terms of global annual shipments, at the end of the day, productivity, app development and content creation are primarily done on the PC. Though these aren’t exactly mass markets, these facts will ensure that the PC will at least have its place in the world for years to come.

Photography

Adobe's "creativity conference" begins October 15. Here's what we hope to see

Each year, Adobe uses its Adobe MAX conference to show off its latest apps, technologies, and tools to help simplify and improve the workflow of creatives the world over. Here's what you should expect from this year's conference.
Computing

Google’s Pixel Slate could land in stores in time for Black Friday

Google's Pixel Slate should arrive by Thanksgiving, according to a leaked Best Buy listing. Though it will arrive in time for Black Friday, don't expect any discounts if you're looking to pick up Google's new Chrome OS tablet.
Home Theater

Free original content is coming to Apple devices, but only if it’s rated PG

New reports say that Apple is planning to bring free original content to the TV app on its devices next year, but don't expect any blood and gore, as the company will only show PG content.
Computing

Everything you need to know about the Pixel Slate

Google's Slate tablet is expected to debut on October 9. Here's everything you need to know about the Pixel Slate, including important specs, expected display, and key features. See if you may prefer Google's tablet over a Chromebook!
Computing

Nvidia is slowly rolling out its next generation of GPUs. Here's what you need to know about them

Nvidia's new RTX 2000 series graphics cards are impressive pieces of hardware, with some amazing advancements and some rather high price tags to match. Here's everything you need to know about Nvidia's new top-tier cards.
Computing

Lenovo and Dell make great professional laptops, but who does it best?

Finding the best laptop for professional use at the office, on the move, and at home is no easy task. There's plenty to choose but to find the best of the best, we pitted the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme vs. Dell XPS 15.
Computing

Personal info of 30,000-plus Pentagon employees compromised in contractor breach

The Pentagon is facing another security problem after it was discovered that a contractor was responsible for a leak of data that affected more than 30,000 Pentagon employees, both civilian and military.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.
Emerging Tech

What the heck is machine learning, and why is it everywhere these days?

Machine learning has been responsible for some of the biggest advances in artificial intelligence over the past decade. But what exactly is it? Check out our handy beginner's guide.
Computing

Did your Windows 10 audio stop working after the update? Microsoft has a fix

Microsoft has released a small patch for its October 2018 Update build of Windows 10 following some users facing audio issues that resulted in no sound output at all. After this fix, that problem should disappear for good.
Photography

Adobe’s Premiere Rush is a video-editing app designed for social media projects

At Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe unveiled updates across the board for all of its Creative Cloud apps, from the release of Premiere Rush CC, a social-focused video editor, to Project Gemini, a digital drawing and painting tool.
Computing

World’s first 49-inch, dual QHD curved monitor tops Dell’s new line of displays

Dell's world's first 49-inch dual QHD curved monitor and other new displays come packed with innovative design features and technologies aimed at meeting demands of workflows everywhere.
Computing

Updated Intel processor benchmarks still beat AMD Ryzen competitor, but by less

After some controversy, updated Principled Technologies testing shows the Intel i9-9900K with a reduced lead over the AMD Ryzen 2700X in benchmarks, and with the AMD Ryzen 2700 X seeing better performance. 
Home Theater

HDMI 2.0b is a whole lot more than just a connection to your TV

HDMI 2.0b is the backbone for many of the latest updates in 4K UHD technology. And while a new cable standard can often involve a bunch of changes for consumers, that is not the case this time around.