Once again, analysts have predicted a grim, grim future for the PC.
According to the latest IDC forecasts, PC sales will fall from the 435.1 million units seen in 2016 to 398.3 million in 2021. That's a five-year compound annual growth of -1.7 per cent.
According to Loren Loverde, IDC's VP for Worldwide Personal Computing Device Tracker, things could turn (somewhat) around, but that depends on a couple of moving targets.
“Shipments could pick up if accelerators like economic conditions, adoption of gaming, VR, and Windows 10 speed up,” Loverde said, before adding: “even in the best case, overall growth would likely remain limited.”
The only machine that could actually do well in the next five years is what IDC describes as a “detachable tablet”, or in other words, the Surface Pro or the iPad Pro. Devices that can be used as a tablet, but do come with a first-party keyboard of their own could succeed. However, IDC has had to contain its optimism because manufacturers aren’t building them fast enough.
The developing world isn’t helping, either. According to the report, India bought less than 2 million PCs last year. This is a result of an upcoming legislation in the country, which has seen resellers postponing purchases.
IDC also believes ultraslim laptops could show growth. It expects commercial PC sales to pick up the pace again in 2019.
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