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IDC: PC Market Losing Out to Tablets by 2015

IDC updated its five-year forecasts for the PC and tablet markets today.

The PC market, which includes desktops and portable devices, is continuing its decline. The newest updated IDC forecast expects that we'll see an overall 7.8 percent decrease in PC shipments this year. The research and consulting firm had previously expected just a decrease of 1.3 percent for the year.

While there were 349.2 million PCs shipped worldwide in 2012, this year that volume will shrink to 321.9 million PCs. IDC expects a 1.5 percent bump upward in 2017, with a forecast of 333.4 million PCs shipped.

Companies could be engaged in replacing their PCs before Windows XP loses its extended support on April 8, 2014. However, IDC's announcement indicated that organizations so far have been "conservative with replacements."

Bob O'Donnell, IDC's program vice president for clients and displays, indicated that almost 25 percent of employees in organizations with more than 10 people purchased their work PCs. "This means that some of the corporate PC purchases we expected this year will no longer happen," he explained, in a released statement.

Tablets, in contrast with PCs, are on the rise. IDC predicts that tablet shipments will increase this year to 229.3 million units, up 58.7 percent compared with the 144.5 million tablets shipped in 2012. The PC market will get eclipsed by tablet shipments by 2015, according to IDC.

Inexpensive Android devices have been the leaders in expanding the tablet market. IDC is expecting to see lower prices for tablets this year that will undercut PC prices. For instance, a $381 tablet will be almost half the $635 price for a PC.

The screens for tablets are getting smaller. Tablets with screens of less than eight inches comprised 27 percent of the world market in 2011, but they will represent 55 percent of the market this year. IDC defines a tablet as a computing device with either no keyboard or a detachable one.

IDC's forecast details come from its tracker publications, including its "Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker" and "Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker" reports.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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