The IDC predicts Surface Pro-style devices to be the only PC growth segment

The prognosticators at analyst company the IDC do not currently see a bright future for traditional PCs and notebooks.

In their Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, they predict the PC market will decline 1.8% over the next 4 years, from 408.3 million units in 2018 to 386.2 million devices in 2022.

The one bright spark, however, is the detachables market, which they expect to grow 9.8% over the same period, from 23.9 million devices in 2018 to 35.0 million devices in 2022.

“Overall the challenges for traditional PCs and tablets remain the same as in past years,” said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. “However, we continue to see pockets of opportunity and growth when you peel back the onion. With notebook PCs it’s clear that marketing and development resources are being poured into premium/gaming, convertibles, and thin and light devices. All OEMs, some of which are new to the space, seem to be laser focused on these areas. Detachable tablets are another area that has seen growth, however it currently feels like the trends around notebook growth opportunities have overshadowed detachable developments.”

Slate style tablets like the iPad peaked as a market segment in 2014 and have been in decline ever since, and this trend is expected to continue.

Desktop PCs are also expected to decline -2.6% over the period.  Enterprise buyers will be the majority of the demand, and on the consumer side, gaming should help support the market, although many gamers are still doing manual upgrades or moving toward gaming notebooks, which continue to pose challenges on the segment.

“Despite the continuous decline of desktops, it’s clear that not all are created alike as the growing demand for gaming PCs is bringing with it plenty of changes to the design and form factor of desktops while opening up opportunities for brands,” said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC’s Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. “Consumers are increasingly valuing small and ultrasmall form factor desktops along with smaller components like low-profile graphics cards. Combine that with the progressively diverse base of gamers and it translates to a shift in gaming PCs from the gargantuan, RGB-lit towers of yesteryear to smaller, sleeker, and subtler boxes in the future.”

See the IDC’s full report here.

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