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IDC: PC shipments forecast to decline 12.4% in 2020

By Shannon Williams, Thu 4 Jun 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Global tablet, notebook PC, desktop PC, and workstation shipments is expected to fall 12.4% to 360.9 million units, according to new research from IDC. 

The analyst firm says the global economy will face challenges as consumers and businesses cope with financial hardship among other losses, as countries around the world continue to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the tablet, notebook PC, desktop PC, and workstation market is expected to recover slowly in the following years with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.3%, IDC says.

While the market suffered global supply issues in the first quarter of 2020, the supply chain has mostly returned to normal levels of production. However, logistics remain a major hurdle due to the greatly diminished number of commercial passenger flights, which often carry cargo, and the lower availability of ocean freight has led to an increase in transportation costs. Additionally, the closure of retail stores and varying degrees of lockdown around the world have also shifted demand in the near team.

"The increase in demand for PCs and tablets as more people work or study from home is likely to be short lived," says Jitesh Ubrani research manager for IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. 

"Barring major changes in the trajectory of infections around the world, we anticipate many small and medium businesses to struggle to keep the lights on and consumers to focus on purchasing staples and other necessities in the second half of the year rather than seeking new computing devices."

Linn Huang, research vice president, Devices & Displays, says what lies beyond this period of uncertainty is also a matter of uncertainty.

"Not many organisations know what their new normal will look like, but most understand it won't be the same as the old. Twitter announced last week that remote work would be a permanent part of their operations, followed by a host of other large companies," says Huang. 

"The transition to a new normal where workers aren't congregating on campus but working from truly anywhere should bring about a market expansion for notebooks in subsequent years once the dust has settled."

IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker gathers data in more than 90 countries and provides detailed, timely, and accurate information on the global personal computing device market. This includes data and insight into global trends around desktops, notebooks, detachable tablets, slate tablets, and workstations. In addition to insightful analysis, the program delivers quarterly market share data and a five-year forecast by country. The research includes historical and forecast trend analysis.

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