Tablets, Smartphones, BYOD Killing PC Sales: IDC

Dennis Faas's picture

Think the PC industry is due for a resurgence in the near future? Think again, says analyst firm IDC. In a new report, IDC researchers predict the PC market will see a staggering decline in sales over the remainder of 2013.

IDC had originally predicted a modest 1.3 per cent decline in sales for 2013, followed by slight rebounds in the following years.

But then we learned about first quarter sales. PC manufacturers shipped just 76.3 million units in the first months of 2013, down an astounding 13.9 per cent from the same period in 2012.

Of the world's top five PC vendors, only Lenovo avoided a significant decline in sales. Rival Acer saw shipments drop an incredible 31.3 per cent.

Total Shipments to Slide Nearly 8%

Those numbers have led IDC to tinker with its original predictions. Now, the firm predicts PC shipments to plummet 7.8 per cent in 2013. That's twice as bad as 2012's rate of decline, which was about 4 per cent. (Source:

Beyond that, IDC sees the downward trend continuing. It now predicts PC shipments to drop a further 1.4 per cent in 2014 before flat-lining in 2015.

So, what's the problem with the PC market? IDC analysts point to several troubling trends.

BYOD Programs, Tablet Sales Present Problems

For one, many companies are now asking employees to use their own laptop computers to carry out their work. This increasingly prominent practice is known as Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD. Given that the business sector has been largely responsible for keeping major PC manufacturers in the black, that's a huge problem.

Of course, the more obvious threat comes from mobile devices, like tablet computers and smartphones.

"Many users are realizing that everyday computing, such as accessing the Web, connecting to social media, sending emails, as well as using a variety of apps, doesn't require a lot of computing power or local storage," noted IDC vice president, Loren Loverde.

"These users have not necessarily given up on PCs as a platform for computing when a more robust environment is needed, but this takes a smaller share of computing time, and users are making do with older systems." (Source:

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