Upturn in PC Market Won't Come Until 2017, IDC Says

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2015-08-26 Print this article Print
Dell notebook

A bright spot in the overall market appears to be two-in-one systems—devices that can be used as both a tablet and a traditional PC. In a separate report, IDC analysts said that while global shipments of tablets (including two-in-ones) will fall 8 percent this year—IDC previously forecast a 3.8 percent decline—the two-in-one market will see year-over-year growth in 2015 of 86.5 percent.

Tablet shipments this year will reach 212 million, with most being pure slate tablets, the analysts said. However, 14.7 million two-in-ones—which also are called detachables and are more expensive than pure tablets—will ship this year. It's an area that Intel has been pushing for several years, and IDC analysts said they see system makers getting more serious about it.

"In the past, the biggest challenges with two-in-one devices were high price points, less than appealing designs, and, quite frankly, lack of demand for Windows 8, which was the OS most devices were running," Ryan Reith, program director with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, said in a statement. "With more OEMs offering devices in this segment, prices have started to come down significantly."

IDC is estimating that more than 40 vendors  shipped two-in-one systems in the second quarter, compared with 14 vendors two years ago. The launch of Windows 10 will help fuel the growth in the field, as will more systems running Google's Android OS hitting the market "and the possibility that Apple will unveil a larger, screen-detachable iPad," Reith said.

The commercial space is a particularly strong opportunity for two-in-ones, according to Jean Philippe Bouchard, research director for tablets at IDC. Businesses never warmed up to tablets because they couldn't see how the devices could help them. That said, companies to this point have been reluctant to adopt mobile technologies beyond smartphones.

"Commercial segments will play a crucial role in the future of two-in-ones," Bouchard said in a statement. "It will take some time, but we expect that once IT departments are done evaluating Windows 10 and the awaited iPad Pro, they will start migrating some of their portable PC and tablet installed base toward two-in-ones, which will accelerate the adoption of the form factor."


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