Thu, May 30, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Global PC shipments to decline faster than expected as consumers go mobile

SMALL IS KING:IDC said many consumers are realizing that most simple PC tasks do not need much computing power or disk space, and are switching to mobile devices

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Worldwide PC shipments are expected to fall at a faster pace than previously thought this year because of strong demand for mobile devices, market researcher International Data Corp (IDC) said in a report on Tuesday.

Worldwide PC shipments are expected to fall by 7.8 percent to 321.9 million units this year, as opposed to a decline of 1.3 percent which IDC had forecast previously.

Global PC shipments totaled 349.2 million units last year after hitting a peak of more than 363 million units in 2011, IDC’s data showed.

The researcher expects demand for replacement PCs to emerge next year, particularly in the corporate sector, partly due to Microsoft Corp’s scheduled ending of support for its Windows XP operating system.

However, IDC said it still expects worldwide shipments to decline by 1.2 percent to 318 million units next year although that figure may rise to 333.4 million units in 2017.

“The new forecast reflects a shift in PC buying trends as users increasingly consider alternatives such as delaying a PC purchase or using tablets and smartphones for more of their computing needs,” IDC said in the report.

IDC program vice president Loren Loverde said many PC users are realizing that everyday computing, such as browsing the Internet, using social media, sending e-mails or using simple programs, does not require a lot of computing power or local disk storage.

As a result, many consumers prefer using a tablet or smartphone to using a laptop or desktop PC, he said.

Meanwhile, global tablet shipments are set to increase 58.7 percent to 229.3 million units this year from 144.5 million units last year, IDC said in a separate report on Tuesday.

IDC said it now expects worldwide tablet shipments to exceed laptop shipments as early as this year and outpace combined desktop and laptop shipments by 2015.

“The phenomenon marks a significant change in consumer attitudes about computing devices and the applications and ecosystems that power them,” IDC program manager Ryan Reith said in a statement.

“For many consumers, a tablet is a simple and elegant solution for core use cases that were previously addressed by the PC,” he said.

With more low-cost Android-powered tablets entering the market, the global average selling price for tablets is expected to decline 10.8 percent to US$381 this year, while the average selling price for a traditional desktop PC is estimated to be roughly double that at US$635, IDC said.

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