PC Market Headed for Tough 2013, Analysts Say
Meanwhile, Gartner analysts June 24 said that worldwide shipments of devices (PCs, tablets and mobile phones) will hit 2.35 billion units this year, a 5.9 percent increase. However, the growth drivers are tablets, smartphones and ultramobile devices—such as Chromebooks, thin-and-light systems and hybrids running Windows 8—while PC shipments will fall 10.6 percent in 2013, the analysts said. "Consumers want anytime-anywhere computing that allows them to consume and create content with ease, but also share and access that content from a different portfolio of products," Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, said in a statement. "Mobility is paramount in both mature and emerging markets." The ultramobile systems are growing in popularity and drawing demand from other devices, according to Gartner. The demand is expected to increase when new systems powered by Intel's Core "Haswell" and Atom "Bay Trail" chips running Microsoft's Windows 8.1 OS come to market. Such devices may not significantly drive up volume sales, but they will increase average selling prices and margins for vendors, the analysts said. Bay Trail will be based on Intel's upcoming "Silvermont" microarchitecture, and company officials said they expect both Bay Trail and Haswell to offer significant improvements in performance, graphics and energy efficiency.Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty in a June 28 note also said PC shipments this year will fall 10 percent, a change from her earlier forecast of a 5 percent decrease. The introduction of Haswell chips and Windows 8.1 won't reverse the negative trend, but could slow it a bit, she said.
The Gartner and IDC reports followed on similar ones from the likes of Citi Research, which in a research note in early June said it expected PC sales to fall 10 percent, a larger decrease from the 4 percent fall that it had predicted earlier.