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

PC shipments showed the biggest decline since records began in 2013 with competition from other devices and the poor economic climate continuing to affect traditional computer sales.

Related: Tablets hit PCs hard as Gartner and IDC report yet more shipment falls

Figures from IDC showed that shipments dropped by 9.8 per cent in 2013, which was actually short of the predicted decrease of 10.1 per cent, and the market will continue to diminish on a worldwide basis until 2018 when shipments will drop by just 0.2 per cent across the globe. It comes at the same time as the outlook for emerging markets for Q4 became bleak due to a variety of factors.

"Emerging markets used to be a core driver of the PC market, as rising penetration among large populations boosted overall growth," said Loren Loverde, Vice President, Worldwide PC Trackers. "At the moment, however, we're seeing emerging regions more affected by a weak economic environment as well as significant shifts in technology buying priorities. We do expect these regions to recover in the medium term and perform better than mature regions, but growth is expected to stabilize near zero percent, rather than driving increasing volumes as we saw in the past."

The analysts added that PC vendors in Asia would see customers “prioritise device purchases” in 2014 and that changes in politics in some major countries like India, Indonesia and Thailand could affect the spending habits of those in emerging markets. Enterprise spending isn’t out of the water in developing countries either.

"The region is also seeing a void in public sector spending this year after huge education deals seen in India and Malaysia last year that are not expected to materialize in 2014,” said Andi Handoko, research manager for client devices for IDC Asia/Pacific.

Mature regions, meanwhile, performed slightly ahead of expectations but this is thought to be due to a rise in XP replacements and as such it isn’t expected to last for much longer than XP’s end-of-life in April.

Related: Analysts: Tablet shipments set to skyrocket as prices fall

Tablets are one of the major contributors to the decline in PC shipments with Gartner forecasting back in October 2013 that the market would increase by 53.4 per cent to 184 million units shipped by the end of 2014.