IDC_logoThe latest quarterly forecast of global PC demand, the International Data Corporation (IDC)Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. has shown a slight reduction in market shrinkage, down to -2.7 percent contraction in 2014, following the previous forecast of -3.7 percent. However, IDC reports market consensus that this is a short-term uptick “rather than as a sign of stronger growth in the medium- or long-term.”

Despite the apparent leveling off of tablet market penetration, IDC reports that “competition for disposable income from smartphones and phablets is rising. In addition, the market was boosted in the third quarter by factors such as a rise in low-cost systems in many markets and a rebound in Western Europe, which helped restore volume to earlier levels but not without cost in value of shipments.”

“The expansion of entry-level models, encouraged by Windows 8 + Bing systems, has helped improve consumer volume in recent quarters and should extend past the fourth quarter,” said Jay Chou, Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide PC Trackers. “Chromebooks are similarly boosting the low-end commercial segment. However, the market is still recovering to near stable volumes with no significant growth in the forecast.”

Catch-up by Microsoft in the convertible semi-tablet space does not seem to be helping drive overall growth in the PC segment. “Features like touch or convertibility, as well as Windows 10 could make systems more versatile and appealing, along with lower prices,” said Loren Loverde, Vice President, Worldwide PC Trackers. “However, we’ve seen steady progress on prices and new designs over the past year, and replacements are stabilizing PC shipments but not boosting total volume. Going forward, as younger generations become more mobile and Web oriented, and emerging regions in particular prioritize converged devices (or economy in number of devices to purchase), the PC market will continue to face tough competition and be more focused on replacements, with limited potential for growth.”




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