Innovative PC market fights back against tablets with 3.7% drop in shipments that defies analysts

PCs are fighting back against the tide of new devices by beating out the analyst forecasts once more.

Related: PC shipments drop 9.8 per cent in 2013, decline shows no sign of abating before 2018

Data from IDC now estimates that worldwide shipments will drop by 3.7 per cent in 2014, which is an uplift compared to the previous forecast of a six per cent decrease with mature markets boosting the prospects of the sector.

PC shipments in mature markets are set to grow by 5.6 per cent n 2014, which is the highest level since 2010 as both commercial and consumer segments continue to show bullish growth thanks to a number of different factors.

Competition from tablets is on the way down and the larger amount of sales now come from smaller form factors that don’t compete in the same sector as PCs – something that is a big reason for the PC’s small resurgence. Another is the fact that PC manufacturers are embracing innovation with slimmer, touchscreen PCs and Chromebooks are also helping to drive more volume.

"Programs to reduce PC prices, such as Windows 8.1 with Bing, have helped to improve PC shipments in some segments," said Jay Chou, Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide PC Trackers. "Coupled with a shift toward more mobile PCs, the market has seen a quickened pace of innovation and a focus on price points. Nevertheless, the prospects for significant PC growth in the long term remain tenuous, as users increasingly see PCs as only one of several computing devices."

Related: Windows XP end-of-life pushes PC shipments up 5% in Q1 2014

IDC analysts are still not particularly optimistic for the market’s prospects on the whole and the loss of 3.7 per cent should see the amount shipped worldwide sit at 303.5 million by the end of 2014 and this will decrease between now and 2018 to end up at 291.1 million shipments.