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PC Market Continues Market Share Slide for Second Year in a Row

According to market research firm IDC, global PC shipments will continue to drop in 2013 for the second straight year.

In an announcement on Tuesday, IDC cited a litany of reasons for the sustained decline in the PC market, including poor holiday sales, growth in tablet shipments, unfavorable economic conditions, PC saturation in emerging markets and "limited initial traction from Windows 8."

"Although the PC industry had banked on Windows 8 and a more varied and less expensive offering of ultrathin notebooks to revive demand, efforts thus far have been disappointing," IDC said. "A lack of touchscreen components has contributed to a limited supply of touch-enabled Windows 8 models -- being out of step with the touch focus of Windows 8, and appearing relatively expansive compared to other options."

Last year was a challenging one for the worldwide PC market, with shipments falling by a total of 3.7 percent, according to IDC. The U.S. market fared even worse, with a 7.6 percent decline. The fourth quarter of 2012 was marked by an 8.3 percent year-over-year drop in shipments -- the most significant decline IDC has on record for the fourth quarter holiday season.

The decline will continue on into 2013, IDC said, forecasting that PC shipments will fall by 1.3 percent over the year. Growth in emerging markets will be limited at under 1 percent, while mature markets will see a decline of 4 percent.

"Market saturation, a tough economic environment and weakness across the board, and lack of momentum for Windows 8, which led to 2012 contraction, are expected to persist at least during the first half of 2013," said IDC research analyst Rajani Singh in a prepared statement.

However, IDC does expect the market to rebound somewhat in the later part of the year.

"IDC expects the second half of 2013 to regain some marginal momentum partly as a rubber band effect from 2012, and largely thanks to the outcome of industry restructuring, better channel involvement, and potentially greater acceptance of Windows 8," Singh said. "We also anticipate a new refresh cycle momentum in the commercial segment driven by the end of Window[s] XP life support." Microsoft is expected to cut off support for the aging XP operating system on April 2014.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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