The PC Market Is Doomed To Shrink For Another Four Years, Researchers Predict

Here’s yet another gloomy report for the PC market. Even though 2013 was the worst decline on record, the market hasn’t hit rock bottom yet and will continue to shrink until at least 2018, market research firm IDC says.

In 2013, the PC market declined by 9.8%, IDC says. That’s a tiny bit better than how IDC thought it would go down — it had predicted a 10.1% decline.

IDC’s 2013 numbers echo the report from another market research firm, Gartner. Gartner said that 2013 shipments were down 10%, the worst decline in PC history. As of the fourth quarter of 2013, the market had been shrinking for almost two years straight, seven quarters in a row.

Instead of replacing older PCs, people are buying tablets and smartphones. In emerging markets, where most of the PC growth used to happen, people are also skipping the PC for tablets and smartphones. But in some cases the economy is so soft, they aren’t buying new devices at all.

In the corporate world, the last of the Windows XP PCs are finally being replaced with newer PCs. But that bit of corporate shopping hasn’t offset the general downward trend.

Here are IDC predictions for the overall PC market:

Region

Form Factor

2013

2014*

2018*

Worldwide

Desktop PC

136.7

129.1

119.2

Worldwide

Portable PC

178.4

166.8

172.5

Worldwide

Total PC

315.1

295.9

291.7

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarter PC Tracker, February 2014

PC Shipments 2013-2018 (Shipments in millions)
* Forecast data

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