IDC predicts PC shipments to continue their decline through to 2018

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2013 was a truly horrible year for PC sales and 2014 is shaping up to be terrible as well. The latest report from IDC projects that overall PC sales will decline by 6.1 percent year-over-year in 2014, which is actually an improvement from the 9.8 percent year-over-year decline that PC sales experienced between 2012 and 2013. IDC doesn’t see things improving for the PC market over the next four years either as it’s projecting an overall 0.2 percent decline in PC sales between 2014 and 2018.

The PC market’s troubles are numerous: Higher quality PCs mean that consumers aren’t upgrading their machines as much as they used to, smartphones and tablets have provided lower-cost alternatives for many users who don’t need overly powerful computing machines and the polarizing nature of Windows 8 has meant that many PC users are more than happy to stick with their Windows 7 computers.

Even worse for many PC vendors, IDC says that PC sales in emerging markets aren’t likely to pick up anytime soon, which could hurt companies such as Lenovo that successfully weathered the great PC sales collapse of 2013 with an aggressive strategy of selling in emerging markets.

“Emerging markets used to be a core driver of the PC market, as rising penetration among large populations boosted overall growth,” IDC analyst Loren Loverde explained. “At the moment, however, we’re seeing emerging regions more affected by a weak economic environment as well as significant shifts in technology buying priorities. We do expect these regions to recover in the medium term and perform better than mature regions, but growth is expected to stabilize near zero percent, rather than driving increasing volumes as we saw in the past.”