PCs still in decline but may stabilize in 2016, says IDC

JC Torres - Jan 13, 2016, 7:00am CST
PCs still in decline but may stabilize in 2016, says IDC

It may only be lately that analysts are saying that smartphones and especially tablets will soon be on a decline, but that doom and gloom story has been the PCs tale for a couple of years now. At first glance, IDC‘s evaluation of the PCs performance in the last quarter of 2015 might look the same. It might look even worse from some perspectives. But, somewhat surprisingly, IDC is also offering a pinch of hope for the market, with a stronger forecast for this new year, but sadly more towards the end of 2016.

As always, there are many factors involved in the PC market’s continued decline. Of course, the rise of mobile devices is always pointed out to be the main reason, but others like commodity prices and weak international currencies eventually find their way into the picture.

Curiously, IDC also partly blames Windows 10, which is ironic considering how it is sometimes proclaimed to save the PC. The new OS may have indeed injected some freshness into the Windows market, but the overall economics hasn’t been to the PC’s benefit, at least not for 2015. The novelty of the OS plus free upgrades for older devices have, in fact, caused more users to delay upgrading to a newer computer. And even with new Windows 10 PCs starting to march forward, the configurations, which include a new Intel generation of CPUs, is also unfamiliar with many consumers.

That status quo, however, won’t last that long. IDC believes that while it wasn’t good for 2015, all of the above, plus the incentive of security updates, would mean that PC sales would rise this year, mostly in the later half. Interestingly, IDC didn’t count detachable tablets in the PC count, even while admitting that it could have added 6% to the PC’s fourth quarter performance if it did. It sees a growth spurt in this market for 2016, which would validate our predictions that this would be the future of most PCs in the market.

As far as vendors go, Lenovo is still king of PCs, though it is struggling to leave a mark in the mobile market. HP and Dell also retain their second and third ranks, respectively. ASUS here is the biggest winner, rising to the fourth spot and somewhat tying with Apple.


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