PC Market to Continue Slide for Two More Years

A new survey forecasts worldwide PC shipments will fall 8.7% this year and suffer a further decline in 2016.
Katie Kuehner-HebertAugust 26, 2015
PC Market to Continue Slide for Two More Years

The personal computer market will continue its slide for the next couple of years but begin a modest recovery in 2017,  International Data Corp. predicted Wednesday in a new survey.

Worldwide PC shipments are expected to fall by 8.7% in 2015 and not stabilize until 2017, according to IDC. A further decline is expected in 2016, extending the industry’s slump into a fifth straight year.

Growth should resume in 2017, led by the commercial market, while consumer volume continues a small decline through the 2019, IDC said.

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Second-quarter shipments shrank even more than expected due to a “stubbornly large” inventory of notebooks from prior quarters and the decline of major currencies relative to the U.S. dollar, IDC said. The firm had expected the second quarter to be a transition period as vendors prepare for Windows 10 systems in the second half of the year.

In addition to economic issues, free upgrades of Windows 10, a relative dearth of newer models in the short term, and channels that are reluctant to take stock make growth unlikely through 2016. The combined volume of PCs, tablets, and smartphones is expected to grow only in the single digits from 2015 through 2019 as saturation and “good enough computing” sentiments spread even into tablets.

However, IDC remains optimistic that the PC market will enjoy a modest recovery in 2017, when the prospect of the next refresh cycle and the end of the free Windows 10 upgrade should provide opportunities in notebooks and commercial segments. In emerging regions, where consumer budgets have been divided across a myriad of devices, PC purchases are also expected to regain some momentum.

“Although the shortcomings of the PC business are obvious, a silver lining is that the industry has continued to refine the more mobile aspects of personal computers  contributing to higher growth in convertible and ultraslim notebooks,” IDC senior research analyst Jay Chou said in a press release.