Research company IDC has estimated a second year of decline in the PC desktop market.
"IDC now expects 2013 PC shipments to decline by 1.3 per cent in 2013," says IDC's report, pointing to a shipment of 142.1 million units this year compared to 148.4 million in 2012.
IDC's figures take in both emerging and mature markets, and estimate that by 2017, while worldwide figures will only have slipped to 141 million units shipped, mature markets will see only 48.8 million units shipped compared to 50.4 million this year, and 53.4 million in 2012.
"The US PC market struggled in 2012, culminating with a 6.5 per cent year-on-year decrease in the fourth quarter and 7.6 per cent decrease for the full year.
"Market saturation, a tough economic environment and weakness across the board, and lack of momentum for Windows 8, which led to 2012 contraction, are expected to persist at least during the first half of 2013," said research analyst Rajani Singh of IDC.
The implication seems to be that tablets may be starting to replace desktop, and laptop, machines. However, a recent survey by Computing refutes some aspects of this trend.
Some 40.3 per cent of those questioned in a readership survey revealed that their next purchased client devices would be desktops, with 33.3 per cent saying they would choose laptops. A touchscreen device would only be considered by 12.5 per cent.
Meanwhile, 49.3 per cent of those surveyed revealed they had refreshed laptop or desktop fleets in 2012, while 41.1 per cent intend to purchase laptops or desktops in 2013, and 34.2 per cent in 2014.
Computing's survey also showed that 64.4 per cent of people said smartphones "will not replace desktops and laptops at [their] organisation within the next three years. Only 13.7 per cent believed they would.
Some 59.7 per cent also believe that "everyone needs a device with a physical keyboard" to work, suggesting the desktop PC is not yet at the end of its life.
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