Story image

Time to bin the traditional PC? IDC forecasts ongoing decline

01 Jun 2018

The International Data Corporation (IDC) has released its latest statistics surrounding global shipments of personal computing devices (PCDs).

This is made up of traditional PCs (desktops, notebooks, and workstations) and tablets (both slate and detachable), of which the future looks very uncertain.

Global shipments of PCDs are expected to decline 3.5 percent year over year in 2018, an even steeper decline from the 2.7 percent in 2017.

The five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is also forecast to be a decline albeit with a slightly more optimistic note as the drop is just -1.8 percent.

However, one shouldn’t tar the entire market with the same brush, as IDC worldwide quarterly mobile device trackers program vice president Ryan Reith says when you ‘peel back the onion’ there are several pockets of opportunity and growth.

Convertible and ultraslim notebooks, as well as detachable tablets continue to be bright spots in a challenging market. All three product categories are expected to grow year over year throughout the forecast.

"Overall the challenges for traditional PCs and tablets remain the same as in past years. With notebook PCs it's clear that marketing and development resources are being poured into premium/gaming, convertibles, and thin and light devices,” says Reith.

“All OEMs, some of which are new to the space, seem to be laser focused on these areas. Detachable tablets are another area that has seen growth, however it currently feels like the trends around notebook growth opportunities have overshadowed detachable developments.”

Slate tablets hit their peak four years ago in 2014 and have been in decline ever since – IDC expects this to continue over the next five years with a CAGR of -6.2 percent. Interestingly, the overall decline has actually improved, but IDC asserts the category is still climbing an uphill battle with consumers spending more and more time on smartphones, in addition to having lifecycles that are more in line with traditional PCs.

Desktop PCs are also expected to decline at a five year CAGR of -2.6 percent. Consumer demand is still being usurped by commercial demand but the market remains saturated with supply and therefore isn’t expected to grow at any time during the five-year forecast.

Gaming has certainly been somewhat of a lifeboat for the consumer side, although IDC affirms two events that continue to pose challenges to the segment is that many gamers still choose to do manual upgrades while others elect for gaming notebooks.

"Despite the continuous decline of desktops, it's clear that not all are created alike as the growing demand for gaming PCs is bringing with it plenty of changes to the design and form factor of desktops while opening up opportunities for brands," says IDC quarterly personal computing device trackers senior research analyst Jitesh Ubrani.

"Consumers are increasingly valuing small and ultrasmall form factor desktops along with smaller components like low-profile graphics cards. Combine that with the progressively diverse base of gamers and it translates to a shift in gaming PCs from the gargantuan, RGB-lit towers of yesteryear to smaller, sleeker, and subtler boxes in the future."

Bitglass appoints new cloud, business development leaders
The cloud security company has appointed vice presidents for worldwide channels and worldwide business development.
Ping Identity offerings accelerates cloud MFA and SSO adoption
90% of respondents trust MFA as an effective security control to protect identity data in public clouds, yet only 60% of organisations have formally adopted it.
Cloud innovation driving NZ IT services market, says IDC
Managed services makes up the largest portion of total IT services revenue. However, the project-oriented market achieved the highest YoY growth.
Ingram launches CRM backup on cloud marketplace
AvePoint Cloud Backup for Dynamics 365 is a multi-tenant solution, designed with specific features to enable channel partners and MSPs.
Trend Micro introduces cloud and container workload security offering
Container security capabilities added to Trend Micro Deep Security have elevated protection across the DevOps lifecycle and runtime stack.
Veeam joins the ranks of $1bil-revenue software companies
It’s also marked a milestone of 350,000 customers and outlined how it will begin the next stage of its growth.
Veeam enables secondary storage solutions with technology partner program
Veeam has worked with its strategic technology alliance partners to provide flexible deployment options for customers that have continually led to tighter levels of integration.
Veeam Availability Orchestrator update aims to democratise DR
The ability to automatically test, document and reliably recover entire sites, as well as individual workloads from backups in a completely orchestrated way lowers the total cost of ownership (TCO) of DR.