PC device shipments dropped 2.7 percent last year: IDC

IDC posits that the decline was due to lackluster demand for legacy form factor devices and component shortages.

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The market for personal computing devices remains in flux as global shipments dropped 2.7 percent in 2017, according to the latest data from IDC.

The research firm has a broad classification for personal computing devices (PCDs), with the market including traditional PCs (desktop, notebooks and workstations) as well as both slate and detachable tablets.

IDC posits that the decline was due to lackluster demand for legacy form factor devices and component shortages. Nevertheless, commercial activity, and notebook shipments swung to positive growth with the ongoing business PC refresh.

IDC expects traditional PC shipment volumes to drop from 259.4 million in 2017 to 248.3 million in 2022. However, with detachable tablets such as the Microsoft Surface Pro thrown into the mix, modest growth of 0.1 percent is expected through 2022.

In the short term, 2018 is expected to see a year-over-year decline of 3.2 percent as consumer demand for slate tablets and legacy PC form factors remain weak, IDC said. Commercial device replacements are expected to remain positive throughout the forecast period, but the momentum will likely slow beyond 2020 as mature markets end their transition to Windows 10. Detachable tablets are also expected to improve in 2018 and 2019 due to ongoing commercial adoption.

"As the broader PCD market continues to evolve, challenges remain but there are plenty of positive signs, too," said Tom Mainelli, program VP with IDC's Devices and AR/VR programs.

"New form factors such as convertibles and detachables continue to show long-term growth opportunities in both consumer and commercial markets. Chromebooks remain a bright spot with an increasing number of consumers embracing the platform. And the gaming category continues to grow, driving both positive volumes and ASP trends," he added.

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