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Free Windows 10 upgrades from Microsoft will FLATTEN PC sales

Punters will take the upgrade, trouser the cash and buy an Apple Watch, says IDC

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Windows 10 won't give PC sales a fillip because punters don't think an OS upgrade is enough reason to buy a new computer.

So says abacus-wielding firm IDC, whose new Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker emerged today and predicted “ PC shipments are expected to fall by -6.2% in 2015.”

“Windows 10 should be a significant contributor to the PC market,” the firm writes, because it offers “an upgrade path from Windows 7 for commercial users and a range of features boosting convenience and integrating the user experience across platforms.”

Microsoft's free upgrade plans, however, mean PC sales won't rise on the back of the operating system's release. Consumers will take the free upgrade and instead “prioritize spending on phones, tablets, and wearable devices like the Apple Watch during the holiday season.”

Business, as ever, will wait and do some testing before deploying the new version of Windows.

That all adds up to another poor year for PC sales, and flat sales into the future. Here's the tale of the tape:

PC Shipments by Product Category and Region (Shipments in millions)

Product Category

Region

2015 Shipments (M)*

Market Share

2019 Shipments (M)*

Market Share

5-Year CAGR

Portable PC

Mature

87.9

30.4%

90.4

30.7%

0.7%

 

Emerging

79.3

27.4%

85.0

28.9%

1.7%

Portable PC Total

167.2

57.9%

175.4

59.6%

1.2%

             

Desktop PC

Mature

47.1

16.3%

45.4

15.5%

-0.9%

 

Emerging

74.7

25.8%

73.3

24.9%

-0.5%

Desktop PC Total

121.8

42.1%

118.8

40.4%

-0.6%

             

Total PC

Mature

135.0

46.7%

135.9

46.2%

0.2%

 

Emerging

154.0

53.3%

158.3

53.8%

0.7%

Grand Total

 

289.0

100.0%

294.1

100.0%

0.4%

Source:  IDC Worldwide Quarter PC Tracker, May 29, 2015

* Forecast data

Table Note:  Mature Markets include U.S., Western Europe, Japan, and Canada. Emerging Markets includes Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), Middle East, and Africa (MEA).

The strengthening US dollar isn't helping matters either, the analyst firm says, because it decreases buying power in plenty of other nations.

There's a ray of sunshine coming in 2016, when IDC predicts PC sales will decline by just 0.2 per cent. There may even be a little growth after that, with 2019 sales tipped to represent be 0.4 per cent compound annual growth. Smartphones, by contrast, are tipped to enjoy a five-year compound annual growth rate of 8.5 per cent. Tablet sales, the firm said yesterday, are growing at about 2.1 per cent a year with cellular-equipped fondleslabs taking a few points off WiFi-only machines to emerge with 40 per cent of the market by 2019, up from today's 31 per cent. ®

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