According to IDC, the PC market is in better shape than expected. It was previously predicted that PC sales would decline 6% in 2014 however the demand from the commercial segment and slightly higher interest from consumers in mature markets has helped the PC segment in the first half. In those mature markets the PC shipments are expected to grow 5.6%, the highest in four years.
Overall though the numbers are still predicted to fall 3.7% as the challenge continues to be in emerging markets where alternative devices are hurting PC sales.
A number of other factors have a positive effect on the PC shipments as well: tablet penetration has increased and PC makers have adopted their product strategy to be more competitive in terms of size, features and price points. Chromebooks have recently also seen a huge sales increase, especially in the education sector.
Comments from the IDC analysts:
“Programs to reduce PC prices, such as Windows 8.1 with Bing, have helped to improve PC shipments in some segments,” said Jay Chou, Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide PC Trackers. “Coupled with a shift toward more mobile PCs, the market has seen a quickened pace of innovation and a focus on price points. Nevertheless, the prospects for significant PC growth in the long term remain tenuous, as users increasingly see PCs as only one of several computing devices.”
“Direct competition from tablets seems to be waning,” said Loren Loverde, Vice President, Worldwide PC Trackers. “However, PC replacement cycles have expanded as users have alternative computing platforms and places to spend money. The launch of Windows 9 Threshold in 2015 could potentially boost demand, although it will be hard to gauge the actual impact until the advantages to consumers and commercial users in functionality and integration with specific devices is more apparent. For the moment, we continue to see PC demand coming primarily from replacements with overall shipments declining slightly through the end of the forecast.”