IDC to PC industry: Don't let your hopes run wild just yet

Several recent forecasts have hinted at comebacks for the PC industry, but the latest IDC forecast maintains a much more conservative outlook.

After its second quarter report on the server market , IDC followed up with an updated forecast on the global PC market for the rest of the year.

Several recent analyst reports and observations have hinted at comebacks for the PC industry, but the latest IDC guidance maintains a more conservative outlook.

As things stand now, IDC analysts are predicting worldwide PC shipments to drop by -3.7 percent in 2014.

That's better than the original forecast calling for a six percent decline, but analysts warned that the bounce-back could take longer in emerging markets due to political unrest and economic uncertainty — notably across the Asia/Pacific, Latin America, and Central Europe, the Middle East and Africa regions.

Nevertheless, those slowdowns could be resolved (at least to some extent) by upticks in mature markets such as North America and Western Europe.

Once again, analysts highlighted the discontinuation of Windows XP and forced upgrade cycle as major catalysts. But this particular IDC forecast placed more emphasis on the slowdown of tablet sales momentum as well.

Loren Loverde, vice president of Worldwide PC Trackers at IDC, observed in the report that "direct competition from tablets seems to be waning," while suggesting that the debut of Windows 9 in 2015 could also boost PC demand.

IDC senior research analyst Jay Chou concurred, adding that "coupled with a shift toward more mobile PCs, the market has seen a quickened pace of innovation and a focus on price points."

But Chou hinted PC industry followers should take that with a grain of salt, reminding that "end-users increasingly see PCs as only one of several computing devices."

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Chart via IDC

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