PC Decline Slows While Tablet Shipments Wane
Despite the encouraging numbers for PCs, the market is still in for difficult times, the analysts said. Mature markets will see shipments decline again in 2015, and "going forward, as younger generations become more mobile and Web-oriented, and emerging regions in particular prioritize converged devices (or economy in number of devices to purchase), the PC market will continue to face tough competition and be more focused on replacements, with limited potential for growth," Loverde said. The tablet market also will be challenged, the analysts said. The lifecycle for the devices has gone from two or three years to more than four, due in large part to the legacy software support for older products—particularly Apple devices—and users are turning increasingly to their smartphones for computing tasks, according to Ryan Reith, program director with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. IDC analysts also put the two-in-ones into the tablet space, and noted how they continue to be increasingly thinner, affordable and available. However, shipments of two-in-ones only account for 4 percent of the market for tablets and two-in-ones, thanks to consumers being unsure about Windows 8, which is found in most two-in-ones. "We need to look at how the tablet ecosystem is answering these challenges, and right now we see a lot of pressure on tablet prices and an influx of entry-level products, which ultimately serves Android really well," Jean Philippe Bouchard, research director for tablets at IDC, said in a statement. "But we also see tablet manufacturers trying to offset this price pressure by focusing on larger screens and cellular-enabled tablets. The next six months should be really interesting."
What will help make it so interesting are such questions as to how the industry embraces Windows 10, what Google does with Android and Chrome operating systems in tablets, and Apple's possible expansion of its product line, the analysts said.