Windows 10 love to see PC market grow again. Future iPhone to be clear. Elvis to re-appear

Analyst firm IDC just made one of these three improbable predictions for the year 2019

Analyst outfit IDC thinks the PC market will grow again, although things are going to get worse before they get better. And the growth will come because people like Windows 10.

The firm's new Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device (PCD) Tracker says “As a collective group of device categories, the PCD market is expected to return to growth in 2019.”

Detachable tablets – think Surface Pros, iPad Pros and other typoslabs – will lead the charge, growing from last year's 21.5m shipments to 45.9m in the year 2021. Notebook computers and mobile workstations will also grow, from 156.8m shipments in 2016 to 163.7m in 2021.

Desktops are still in trouble with sales tipped to dip 15m a year between now and 2021, but even that decline is a better fate than that which awaits “slate tablets” - think iPads – as IDC sees their sales slumping from 2016's 153.4m units to just 107.1m in 2021.

The firm doesn't say why 2019 will see a return to growth, but says “steady refinement of slim and convertible designs, as well as rising commercial spending” will give the market a boost, along with “rising replacements and steadier growth in emerging regions”.

The firm also offers this observation:

One piece of industry movement that we continue to watch closely is OEMs that have traditionally focused on the smartphone space moving further into the Windows device market. This is happening with both detachable tablets and notebook PCs, and as recently as this week Huawei announced very attractive products in both categories.

That paragraph is almost certainly music to Microsoft's ears as having missed out on smartphones it needs OEM and consumer enthusiasm for larger devices.

IDC's prediction comes in the same week that ratings firm Moody's predicted a bumpy ride for China's economy. El Reg imagines that if the ratings firm is correct it may undo some of the good news from PC sales in emerging regions. ®

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