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10% drop in year's total global PC shipments: firm

TAIPEI -- Global personal computer shipments over 2013 are expected to show a 10-percent decline from a year earlier as consumer interest has turned away from PCs, market information advisory firm International Data Corp. (IDC) said in a research report.

IDC said worldwide PC shipments over this year are expected to come out to 314.2 million units, down about 10.1 percent from the 349.4 million units shipped in 2012 — the steepest year-on-year decline the global PC market has ever seen.

The firm had previously forecast an annual decline of 9.7 percent.

“While IDC research finds that the PC still remains the primary computing device — for example, PCs are used more hours per day than tablets or phones — PC usage is nonetheless declining each year as more devices become available,” IDC senior analyst Jay Chou said in a statement.

“And despite industry efforts, PC usage has not moved significantly beyond consumption and productivity tasks to differentiate PCs from other devices. As a result, PC lifespans continue to increase, thereby limiting market growth,” Chou said.

Compared to the commercial PC market, the consumer PC market has faced more pressure from the rising popularity of smartphones and tablet computers.

As a result, IDC said shipments of desktops for the whole year will come out to 135.6 million units, an 8.6-percent decline, while shipments of laptops and other portable PCs, excluding tablets, are likely to fall by 11.2 percent to 178.6 million units.

In mature markets, PC shipments are expected to fall 8.4 percent year-on-year to 132 million units, while shipments in emerging markets are likely to fall by an even greater 11.3 percent to 182.1 million units.

The trend could continue in 2014, when IDC predicted there will be a further 3.8 percent fall, before eventually showing small growth in the long term. Based on current trends, global PC shipments in 2017 are likely to be around just 305.1 million.

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