1Q Global PC Shipments Will Be Even Worse Than Expected, Thanks To Slowness In China, Says IDC

Global PC shipments are expected to decline even more due to slower-than-expected growth in China, the world’s top PC market, during the first quarter of 2013, according to new data released by IDC.

1Q shipments will decline by 7.7 percent, two percentage points more than what IDC had expected as vendors and the supply chain adjust to the Windows 8 transition. Furthermore, unless PC makers come out with competitive new products with pricing comparable to tablets, shipments are likely to drop even more.

“Our February monthly data suggest that we could see a drop touching double-digits in the first quarter and a mid-single-digit decline in the second quarter before we see any recovery in the second half of the year. Even getting to positive growth in the second half of 2013 will take some attractive new PC designs and more competitive pricing relative to tablets and other products,” said IDC Worldwide PC Trackers program vice president Loren Loverde in a statement.

It’s no surprise that tablets continue to eat into PC shipments. A week ago, IDC increased its 2013 forecast for the worldwide tablet market to 190.9 million, up from its previous forecast of 11 percent between 2013 and 2016, because of a predicted increase in shipments of smaller, lower-priced devices.

The Chinese market accounted for over 21 percent of global shipments in 2012. Slowdown in PC shipments is partially due to the timing of the Chinese New Year holiday and other expected factors, but budget cuts introduced by the government as well as anti-corruption measures also decreased purchases more than expected. Though shipments should recover somewhat in China, it will not be enough to make up for the dip in shipments during February, said IDC.

In comparison to China, IDC expects that Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific regions will all see close-to-forecast market performance.