Wed, Sep 18, 2013 - Page 13 News List

PC market slide to slow, MIC says

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Global PC shipments are expected to slide at a slower annual rate of 1.7 percent next year, supported by sales of new PCs running Microsoft Corp’s new Windows 8.1 operating system, the Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) said yesterday.

Enterprise PC replacement demand is expected to pick up after Microsoft ends its security updates and support for the Windows XP operating system on April 8 next year, MIC said.

MIC forecast that global PC shipment would reach 291 million units next year.

This year, global PC shipments are forecast to contract 7.5 percent year-on-year to 296 million units, due to the rise of tablets, MIC said.

“Although the Windows 8 operating system did not help boost global PC shipments during the first half of the year, demand for PCs is likely to take off with the launch of new PCs running Microsoft’s updated Windows 8.1 operating system,” MIC senior manager Charles Chou (周士雄) told a press conference.

“There is a likelihood that global PC shipments will regain mild growth in 2015,” Chou said.

Suffering from sluggish economic conditions in European countries and the US, global laptop shipments are expected to decline 10 percent to 173 million units this year from last year, according to MIC’s report.

The rise of tablets dragged down laptop shipments’ share of the PC market to 58.5 percent this year, from 60.1 percent last year, the report showed.

This year, MIC forecast global tablet shipments would increase 58.4 percent annually to 223 million units, driven by smaller-sized tablet models, as well as low-cost tablets.

Because demand for tablets remains robust due to their portability and convenience, MIC forecast that global tablet shipments would grow 26.3 percent to 280 million units next year.

However, although selling more low-cost tablet products can help boost vendors’ short-term sales and shipments, increasingly intense price competition may discourage tablet makers from innovation, with more players joining the market and sharing dwindling profits in the long term, MIC added.

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