Worldwide personal-computer shipments are projected to fall 10.1 percent this year, by far the biggest annual decline on record, as consumers continue to shun the devices, market researcher IDC said.
“Interest in PCs has remained limited, leading to little indication of positive growth beyond replacement of existing systems,” the Framingham, Massachusetts-based firm said today in a statement. IDC had previously predicted a 9.7 percent decrease for the year. Unit shipments are expected to drop 3.8 percent in 2014 before turning slightly positive, IDC said.
Consumers in particular are shifting away from PCs to devices like tablets and smartphones, leading the consumer market to fare worse than corporate demand this year. At IDC’s projected sales rates, shipments worldwide will stay at just more than 300 million through 2017, or barely above 2008 levels -- raising concerns for PC-dependent companies like Hewlett-Packard Co. and Microsoft Corp.
One bright spot for Microsoft is IDC’s forecast for tablets based on its Windows software. Shipments of the devices are projected to rise to 40.8 million in 2017, from less than 9 million this year, the researcher said.