For a brief period of time last year, it looked like the PC market was trying to make a recovery from the downward spiral it was traveling. After seven straight years of decline, PC and tablet shipments finally began to edge back up last year. In fact, the first quarter of 2018 showed promising signs of growth, with a 2.7 percent improvement in Q2 2018 over the previous year — which also happened to be the strongest growth rate in the market since Q1 2012. Unfortunately, Intel’s CPU shortage may have prevented any improvement. Total sales fell 1.2 percent from 2017-2018. And according to a report from IDC, that pattern will repeat through 2023.
Traditional PCs will continue to experience tough sledding, with declining desktop demand offset by emerging notebook opportunities, according to IDC. The firm projects that traditional PC shipments will fall at a CAGR of 0.4 percent over the next five years.
Jay Chou, an IDC research manager whoo runs the company’s PCD shipment tracking program, said in a press statement that notebooks and detachable tablets are expected to make up 53 percent of all personal computing device shipments by 2023.
“Even as personal computing takes place on a myriad of devices and emerging venues like the cloud, IDC believes there remains a place for portable devices that can evolve to fit changing tastes while still retaining important but under-appreciated features like a physical keyboard,” Chou said.
The IDC report also predicts that combined shipments of traditional PCs and tablets will decline to just 391 million units by the end of 2019, down 3.3 percent. Outside of gaming and workstation markets, nobody really knows what’s going to make the PC market move.