Win XP migration, commercial spending offset weak consumer PC demand

By : |April 10, 2014 0

FRAMINGHAM, USA: Worldwide PC shipments totaled 73.4 million units in the first quarter of 2014 (1Q14), a decline of 4.4 percent year-on-year, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. Although still in decline and with continuing weakness in consumer and emerging market segments, the preliminary results are slightly better than a projected decline of 5.3 percent.

Similar to the latter part of 2013, the upside in the first quarter arose primarily from demand in mature commercial markets. Commercial refresh projects, which had already been protracted, received a last push from the impending end of Windows XP support, particularly in Japan.

In addition, slowing demand for tablets seems to have helped constrain previously drastic cutbacks in notebooks. Nevertheless, emerging regions continued to post weak results, with growth in Latin America and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan)(APeJ) falling even faster than recent declines as both economic conditions and continued tablet penetration stifled PC shipments.

“Worldwide PC shipments have now declined for eight consecutive quarters as a result of shifting technology usage and competition (notably with tablets and smartphones) as well as economic pressures (including high unemployment, slow growth & investment, tight credit, and currency fluctuations) related to the Great Recession, sovereign debt crises, and their related impact on international trade,” said Loren Loverde, VP, Worldwide PC Trackers.

“The economic front seems to be gradually stabilizing and/or improving. However, this has been a slow process, and it is unlikely that sovereign debt issues will be resolved soon or that growth in emerging markets like China will return to prior levels. On the technology front, the transition to more mobile devices and usage modes is unlikely to stop, although the short term impact on PC shipments may slow as tablet penetration rises – as we’ve begun to see in some mature regions. The net result remains consistent with our past forecasts – in particular, that there is potential for PC shipments to stabilize, but not much opportunity for growth.”

“PC shipment growth in the United States remained slightly faster than most other regions in the first quarter. However, the passing boost from XP replacements, constrained consumer demand, and no clear driver of a market rebound are expected to keep growth below zero going forward,” said Rajani Singh, Senior Research Analyst, Personal Computing.

“A rebound in consumer or a continuation of accelerated commercial upgrades could boost growth slightly, but low demand for upgrades in general combined with competition from tablets and 2-in-1 systems limit the growth potential.”

 

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