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IDC: PC market will also be hit by COVID-19

06 Mar 2020

IDC has lowered its forecast for personal computing devices (PCDs), inclusive of desktops, notebooks, workstations, and tablets, in the face of the COVID-19 breakout.

According to new projections from the Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, overall PCD shipments will decline 9.0% in 2020 reaching 374.2 million by year's end. 

However, the long-term forecast remains slightly positive as global shipments are forecast to grow to 377.2 million in 2024 with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.2%.

The decline in 2020 is attributed to two significant factors; the Windows 7 to Windows 10 transition creates tougher year-over-year growth comparisons from here on out and, more recently, the spread of COVID-19 is hampering supply and leading to reduced demand. 

As a result, IDC forecasts a decline of 8.2% in shipments during the first quarter of 2020 (1Q20), followed by a decline of 12.7% in 2Q20 as the existing inventory of components and finished goods from the first quarter will have been depleted by the second quarter. 

In the second half of the year, growth rates are expected to improve, although the market will remain in decline.

"We have already forgone nearly a month of production given the two-week extension to the Lunar New Year break and we expect the road to recovery for China's supply chain to be long, with a slow trickle of labour back to factories in impacted provinces until May when the weather improves," says IDC devices and displays research vice president Linn Huang.

"Many critical components such as panels, touch sensors, and printed circuit boards come out of these impacted regions, which will cause a supply crunch heading into Q2."

Assuming the spread of the virus subsides in 2020, IDC anticipates minor growth in 2021 as the market returns to normal with growth stemming from modern form factors such as thin and light notebooks, detachable tablets, and convertible laptops.

Many commercial organisations are expected to refresh their devices and move towards these modern form factors in an effort to attract and retain a younger workforce. 

Consumer demand in gaming, as well as the rise in cellular-enabled PCs and tablets, will also help provide a marginal uplift.

IDC's Worldwide Personal Computing Device Tracker gathers data in more than 90 countries and provides detailed, timely, and accurate information on the global personal computing device market. 

This includes data and insight into global trends around desktops, notebooks, detachable tablets, slate tablets, and workstations. 

IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. 

Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis.