PC market won't stabilize until 2018, says IDC

The woes continue for the PC market as a slowdown in smartphone and tablet growth hasn't boosted sales. Enterprises continue to evaluate Windows 10.

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The PC market isn't expected to stabilize until 2018, according to IDC.

In a not-so-surprising forecast, IDC said that global PC shipments are expected to fall 7.3 percent in 2016 compared to 2015. That outlook is 2 percent lower than IDC's previous estimate.

Smaller declines in growth are on tap for 2017 with stable volume in 2018. IDC is citing currency fluctuations, commodity prices and delayed upgrades as reasons for the malaise.

IDC said it initially thought that slowing growth in the smartphone and tablet markets would boost PCs, but that projection hasn't played out. IDC said:

Although growth rates for devices such as phones and tablets continue to fall, potentially reducing the competitive pressure on PCs, we have not seen this translate into stronger PC shipments. The financial pressure on consumers across regions, and the availability of alternatives such as delaying a PC replacement by using a free Windows 10 upgrade or relying more on other devices continues to pressure consumer PC shipments. Similarly, while a large share of enterprises are evaluating Windows 10, the pace of new PC purchases has not yet stabilized.

Meanwhile, 2-in-1 devices are poaching sales from PCs. If hybrids are lumped in with PCs, the market will fall 2 percent in 2016. One question worth asking is whether these detachable tablets should be considered PCs.