PC growth is slowing down in Asia/Pacific markets


 Infotech Lead Asia: The PC market is expected to grow 0.9 percent in 2012, as mid-year shipments slow.


367 million PCs will ship into the market this year, up a fraction of a percent from 2011 and marking the second consecutive year of growth below 2 percent.


IDC said slowing growth in Asia/Pacific has reduced the impact of emerging market growth, while more mature regions like the United States have seen volume decline.


Consumers have been hit by weak economic conditions, but are also waiting to see what Windows 8 and Ultrabook products will look like while considering spending on other products like media tablets and smartphones.


Product updates later this year should revive PC growth, but it will be a more pronounced competitive environment and there is likely to be some confusion among buyers about new product features as well as where they will get the most for their money.


The uncertainty about product updates should be largely addressed by the end of this year and may be accompanied by a modest improvement on the economic front. Still, consumers and businesses alike are expected to be cautious with spending and when deciding to replace older products. This will put a damper on medium- and long-term growth prospects, both of which were lowered slightly in the medium- and long-range forecast.


IDC expects worldwide PC shipment growth will average 7.1 percent from 2013-2016, down from the 8.4 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) previously forecast for 2012-2016.


The U.S. market will remain depressed until Windows 8 products hit the shelves in the fourth quarter of 2012. The industry is responding by reducing shipments of PCs and clearing Windows 7-based inventories to pave the way for a new generation of systems.


“The third-quarter back to school season is also proving to be a challenging period, despite prices dropping to their lowest levels. We expect the year will end with shipments in the U.S. falling by 3.7 percent, marking the second consecutive year of contraction,” said David Daoud, research director, Personal Computing at IDC.


“Factors such as Windows 8 coupled with Ultrabooks could present a positive turn of events next year, but it also faces some initial hurdles; chief of which is that buyers must acclimate themselves to an operating system that is a dramatic departure from existing PC paradigms. The PC ecosystem faces some work to properly educate the market,” said Jay Chou, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.


PC Shipments by Region and Form Factor, 2011-2016 (Shipments in millions)

Region       Form Factor     2011
Emerging Market       Desktop PC     98.7     97.2     100.4     103.8     105.9     107.9
Emerging Market Portable PC 110.1 116.7 131.2 146.1 167.8 195.5
Emerging Market Total PC 208.8 213.9 231.7 249.8 273.7 303.5
Mature Market Desktop PC 56.1 55.8 55.2 55.0 55.0 54.1
Mature Market Portable PC 99.0 97.6 104.2 113.8 121.4 125.5
Mature Market Total PC 155.1 153.3 159.4 168.8 176.4 179.6
Worldwide Desktop PC 154.8 153.0 155.7 158.8 160.9 162.0
Worldwide Portable PC 209.1 214.2 235.5 259.9 289.2 321.1
Worldwide       Total PC     363.9     367.2     391.1     418.6     450.1     483.1


Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, August 2012


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