Feeds

Thought the PC market couldn't get any worse? HAH! Think again

Prepare yourselves for a mid-teens decline, vendors

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Any PC makers dreaming of a sales rebound this year are picking up the pieces of that shattered aspiration: beancounters at IDC reckon the number of computers shipped will be worse than first feared.

The statisticians believe the market in Western Europe will decline 16.3 per cent to just shy of 47 million units in 2013, compared to the 15.5 per cent decline it previously predicted and equating to 500,000 fewer PCs.

The downgrade follows a disappointing back-to-school period in June, a continued assault on notebook sales by slabs, and modest expectations for the impact of Windows 8.1, due out later this year.

Compounding the matter is a stock hangover from the first and second quarters, said Maciej Gornicki, senior research analyst at IDC, as distributors and retailers continue to apply "inventory controls".

"Demand remains weak, particularly in consumer, and we expect channel players' orders to continue be at the lower level," he told us.

A slew of next-generation tabs are on the way from major players, which will continue to capture the attention of users, we're told; but IDC added that ultrabook and touch-enabled lappies still carry a price premium.

Microsoft has completed its Windows 8.1 makeover, but Gornicki claimed the features will not be attractive enough to pull in the punters.

The business-to-business space will also remain in a "negative" spiral, and the vital back-to-school summer shopping season failed to meet sales expectations for vendors and channel partners, "demand was weaker than expected", he said.

The wider enterprise market holds no hope either, IDC added. "There are no major renewals expected in the enterprise space at least until the second half of 2014," said Gornicki.

Neil Marshall, UK managing director at Acer and a popular distribution channel figure, told us the consumer market was not getting any easier with the major protagonists fighting for share and using price as a weapon.

But ever the optimist, he said: "[I] strongly believe there will be a rebound in the notebook space, purely consumer we are talking about here.

"People have been putting off buying a new notebook and there was no compelling reason to buy. But with the advent of touch, as the price comes down to a more manageable level, we will see a rebound in traditional notebooks."

IDC reckons consumers will be happy to pay a €50 (£43) price premium for touchscreen notebooks or ultrabooks versus traditional clam shells – but at present the average difference was in the order of €200 (£172).

Marshall said he had opinions on the "price point [that] will trigger that elasticity in the market" but didn't want to share this with rivals the wider world.

Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst at Gartner, said Q4 is a "make or break time for some PC makers" with the Windows 8 upgrade, and new form-factors and price points on the horizon.

"Never mind a rebound, what PC makers need is for the market to stop declining," he said. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.