PC sales ‘won’t stabilise’ until 2017

PC sales are expected to shrink by 8.7 per cent in 2015 and will not stabilise until 2017, so says analyst IDC.

The latest forecast shows that shipments will continue to decline through 2016, which will make five years of declining shipments.

However, IDC believes that growth should resume in 2017, which will be led by the commercial market.

Consumer volume continues a small decline through the end of the forecast in 2019, too.

Although IDC had expected the second quarter of 2015 to be a transition period, as vendors prepare for Windows 10 systems in the second half of the year, final results shrank even more than expected due to a "stubbornly large" inventory of notebooks from prior quarters.

IDC also said there were constraints posed by the decline of major currencies relative to the US dollar.

According to IDC, economic issues, free upgrades to Windows 10 and various channels that are reluctant to take on new stock also make the prospect of growth unlikely during 2016.

"Perhaps as a further sign of a broader pullback, mobile devices can no longer be the sole culprit for PCs demise," said IDC in a statement.

The combined volume of PCs, tablets, and smartphones is expected to grow only by single digits from 2015 through to 2019 as saturation and ‘good enough computing’ sentiments spread even into tablets, which are expected to see a further volume decline in 2015.

Jay Chou, senior research analyst, worldwide PC tracker at IDC, said: “Although the shortcomings of the PC business are obvious, a silver lining is that the industry has continued to refine the more mobile aspects of personal computers – contributing to higher growth in convertible and ultraslim notebooks.

"The de-emphasis of touch on Windows 10 also paves the way for a more familiar experience and continuing unit growth on large-screen systems, particularly all-in-one PCs."

A slight recovery is expected during 2017, plus in emerging regions PC purchases are also expected to increase.

This news comes after IDC reported that the declining tablet market in Western Europe has finally started to stabilise.

Total tablet shipments contracted annually by 1.2 per cent in Q2 2015, reaching 7.5 million units.

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