According to the IDC the forecasted drop in PC sales is a result of people preferring alternatives such as smartphones and tablets for their computing needs.
“In place of a limited decline of 1.3 per cent in 2013 followed by a gradual increase in volume, the new outlook calls for a more substantial decline of 7.8 per cent in 2013 and 1.2 per cent in 2014 with shipment volume reaching only 333 million in 2012, [which is] still below the 349 million shipped in 2012 and a peak of more than 363 million shipped in 2011,” said the IDC in a statement.
Loren Loverde, programme vice president of the Worldwide Quarterly PC Trackers at the IDC, said: “As the market develops, usage patterns and devices are evolving. Many users are realising that everyday computing, such as accessing the web, connecting to social media, sending emails, as well as using a variety of apps, doesn’t require a lot of computing power or local storage.
“Instead, they are putting a premium on access from a variety of smaller devices with longer battery life, an instant on function, and intuitive touch-centric interfaces.
“These users have not necessarily given up on PCs as a platform for computing when a more robust environment is needed, but this takes a smaller share of computing time, and users are making do with older systems.”
The IDC said it is expecting to see replacements occur in 2014, especially regarding the commercial sector because the support for Windows XP will be expiring. The IDC believes the commercial market has been “conservative” in large scale replacements because they prefer to focus on individual systems rather than embarking on large scale upgrade projects.
Furthermore, many companies’ workers are already equipped with portable PCs together with adequate configurations.
“In addition, the BYOD (bring your own device) phenomenon has moved from smartphones to tablets and PCs with nearly 25 per cent of employees in organisations larger than 10 people claiming to have purchased the primary PC they use for work. This means that some of the corporate PC purchases we expected this year will no longer happen,” said Bob O’Donnell, vice president of clients and displays for the IDC.