Consolidation may hit worldwide PC market, IDC says

Consolidation may hit the worldwide PC market, IDC says.

Tumbling demand could affect PC makers next year, leading to industry consolidation, IDC said on Wednesday.

Competition among PC makers could intensify as consumers and enterprises tighten budgets during the economic downturn, creating a stagnant market for PC makers, said Richard Shim, personal computing research manager at IDC. That could lead to fewer opportunities for PC makers to sell their products.

The PC market is already pretty mature globally, so the lower-than-expected shipments and falling prices could create consolidation in the PC industry, either through acquisitions or by forcing competitors out, Shim said.

In mature markets like the U.S. and Europe, smaller PC makers may be forced out by larger competitors, Shim said. However, in emerging markets the smaller PC makers are ripe for acquisition, as larger PC makers are always trying to expand their customer base.

PC shipments worldwide are expected to grow by only 3.8 percent in 2009, a dramatic drop from the 13.7 percent growth the firm predicted earlier this year. Growth of PC shipments for 2010 has been lowered to 10.9 percent.

While Dell reported slow growth in PCs shipped for the quarter ended Oct. 31, companies like Hewlett-Packard and Apple have defied the economic downturn, reporting consistent growth in shipments. HP reported a 19 percent rise in unit shipments year-over-year for its most recent financial quarter, while Apple saw 21 percent growth in Mac shipments for the quarter ending Sept. 27.

Apple has a good chance of recording solid growth through the economic downturn compared to other PC makers, Shim said. Historically Apple has outpaced the industry, as it has a loyal customer base willing to pay higher prices for PCs, Shim said.

Consumers will show more preference for laptops over the next few years, with shipments outpacing those of desktops, IDC said. Laptop shipments are expected to grow from 168 million next year to 285.7 million in 2012, compared to desktops, which will grow from 145.8 million in 2009 to 156.6 million in 2012. IDC has not included handhelds like PDAs in the numbers.

The growth in laptop shipments will be driven partly by larger shipments of netbooks, or mini-laptops, which are small, inexpensive laptops with screens of up to 12 inches, Shim said. Netbooks are shipping in larger volumes in emerging markets because of their lower prices. However, consumers in the U.S. haven't figured out how to effectively use netbooks, as 20 percent of buyers return them, Shim said.

After years of double-digit growth, developed countries will see slower PC shipment growth because of the economic downturn. Shipments in the U.S. will decline by 3 percent in 2009 and continue to grow slowly in the coming years, while countries like Japan and Canada will see low single-digit growth. Growth in Western European countries is expected to continue at 6 percent in 2009, driven by increased laptop shipments, but it will be a giant drop from the 20 percent growth it is expected to record in 2008.

PC shipments in emerging Asia-Pacific countries will outpace mature markets, increasing by around 7 percent in 2009 and jumping up by around 18 percent to 20 percent in the following years, IDC said.

After being the fastest-growing markets over the past few years, emerging markets in Latin America and Central Europe will see PC shipment drop through the third quarter of 2009 due to falling prices and currency fluctuations. PC shipments are expected to increase at a slower pace in certain Middle East and African countries compared to recent years.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?