SAN FRANCISCO—Global PC shipments are now expected to decline by nearly 8 percent this year, due partly to new consumer preferences for smartphones and tablets, according to market research firm International Data Corp (IDC).
The latest PC shipment forecast from IDC (Framingham, Mass.) is a downgrade from an earlier forecast that called for PC shipments to fall by just over 1 percent. PC shipments declined last year for the first time since 2001.
IDC projected that PC shipments will decline a further 1.2 percent in 2014.
"As the market develops, usage patterns and devices are evolving," said Loren Loverde, program vice president for IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Trackers, in a statement.
IDC now expects tablet shipments to grow nearly 59 percent this year, reaching 229 million units, up from 144.5 million units last year. IDC now predicts tablet shipments will exceed those of portable PCs this year. The firm expects tablet shipments to outpace the entire PC market by 2015.
"What started as a sign of tough economic times has quickly shifted to a change in the global computing paradigm with mobile being the primary benefactor," said Ryan Reith, program manager for IDC's mobility trackers, in a statement. "Tablets surpassing portables in 2013, and total PCs in 2015, marks a significant change in consumer attitudes about compute devices and the applications and ecosystems that power them."
Reith said IDC continues to believe that PCs will have an important role in this new era of computing, especially among business users. "But for many consumers, a tablet is a simple and elegant solution for core use cases that were previously addressed by the PC," Reith said.