IDC released its 2010 predictions for the PC market, and the analyst firm says virtual desktops, WiMax and a return to desktops are in the forecast.
Last year's economic lag directly caused PC prices to take a nosedive. However, IDC thinks the average selling price of PCs will stay put in 2010 thanks to stronger demand from businesses and consumers. The loser is the mininotebook, or netbook. The research firm says 2009 was the climax for netbook market growth and share, pointing to falling prices of portable PCs and lack of differentiation when stacked up against a fully loaded PC.
Portable PCs will remain on their exponential trajectory, accounting for more than 60 percent of all PC shipments. Yet, emerging markets looking for a more affordable solution will look to desktops, slowing the purchases of portable PCs slightly. IDC predicts that market share of all-in-one desktops will double. Consumer interest combined with economic recovery in the commercial sector will fuel shipment growth and help the all-in-one desktop capture nearly 10 percent of 2010's worldwide desktop market.
Enterprises curious about new computing models will be eyeing virtualization of the desktop through 2010. Although IDC predicts only 10 percent of new desktop clients will be virtual this year, experimentation may lead to traction in the near future.
Widespread WiMax adoption may be far off, but IDC thinks the foundation is being laid. The analyst firm predicts that shipments of WiMax-enabled portable PCs will surpass laptop shipments with embedded 3G cellular.
Lack of compelling touch-specific software is making it unlikely that consumers or enterprises will head out in droves to snatch up touch-enabled desktops and portables. But application developers are holding off on building cool stuff until consumers buy in. Who's going to blink first?
New tablets on the horizon from HP and Lenovo may spur some interest, but not a large rise in shipments. The promise of the tablet hasn't paid off, yet, and adoption is mostly in niche markets. IDC thinks that even the introduction and surrounding buzz of Apple's iPad won't push consumers or businesses to look at Windows-based tablets. IDC will not include the iPad in its PC market because of its lack of a complete OS.