According to a new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, unit shipments for the worldwide personal computing devices (PCD) market, comprised of Traditional PCs and Tablets, are expected to decline 3.3 percent in 2019. The market contraction comes on the heels of 2018, which also saw an overall decline in shipments despite good growth for commercial PCs. The decline in shipment volume is expected to continue throughout the forecast period as the market shrinks to 372.6 million units in 2023 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -1.2 percent.
Detachables are expected to grow modestly over the five-year forecast with a CAGR of 4.6 percent. IDC believes this product category will have a stronger impact in the commercial segment as vendors increasingly focus their attention on enterprise and education markets for their sales. Chrome-based devices, which tend to be education-centric, are expected to find some traction as more detachable Chrome tablets enter the scene. Slate tablets will continue to decline with a CAGR of -4.4 percent with the market becoming increasingly concentrated toward the holiday quarters. Competition from key players has resulted in more brands reducing their presence or exiting the market altogether.
Traditional PCs will continue along a tough landscape with declining desktop demand offset by emerging notebook opportunities, stabilizing with a slight CAGR decline of -0.4 percent between 2019 and 2023. Some inhibitors that surfaced near the end of 2018 will still be in play in the early part of 2019. Though easing up, the CPU shortage may hamper some entry-level device volume. Gaming PCs, whose momentum had been building for much of 2018, will also face some short-term challenges as the market works through older GPU inventory and the gaming ecosystem warms up to Nvidia’s latest offerings. On a brighter note, although the commercial PC market is expected to see a small dip in 2019 compared to the previous year, the commercial notebook forecast has been raised for 2019. IDC expects a sizable amount of last-minute Windows 10 migration projects to be completed this year, especially among SMBs with an aging installed base. Finally, advances in the PC experience will drive most of the PCD device conversation, further cementing notebooks as the dominant form factor and taking up nearly 46 percent of the PCD market by 2023.
“Notebooks/Mobile Workstations and Detachable Tablets are expected to take 53 percent of all PCD shipments by 2023, a clear majority,” said Jay Chou, research manager of the PCD Tracker at IDC. “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.”
“While the long-run PCD market remains in persistent decline, the constitution of the market continues to churn for the better,” said Linn Huang, research director for Devices and Displays at IDC. “And with ray-tracing ramping up and 5G-connected, dual-screen, and foldable devices on the not-too-distant horizon, consumers and professionals will likely find something compelling at the premium end.”
IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker gathers data in more than 90 countries and provides detailed, timely, and accurate information on the global personal computing device market. This includes data and insight into global trends around desktops, notebooks, detachable tablets, slate tablets, and workstations. In addition to insightful analysis, the program delivers quarterly market share data and a five-year forecast by country. The research includes historical and forecast trend analysis.
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