Personal Tech

Desktop PC shipments dip below 100m/year

And there's worse to come between now and 2022 for all client devices bar typoslabs

By Simon Sharwood


Desktop PC shipments dipped below 100 million in 2017 and there's worse to come across the personal computing device market according to analyst firm IDC.

The company on Wednesday published a summary of its Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker for 2017's final quarter in which it totted up shipments for the year across all forms of PC and slate-style tablets.

The headline figure was a 2.7 per cent year-over-year decline.

The firm said "commercial PC renewal momentum remained as the main catalyst in a market that was also tempered by lackluster demand for legacy form factor devices and component shortages." There was a little good news in 2017 with growth in notebook sales, as they grew more strongly than in any year since 2012, but the overall picture was poor.

Soon it will be grim: the firm offered the table below as its outlook for personal computing device sales between now and the year 2022.

Product Category 2017 Shipments 2017 Share 2022 Shipments 2022 Share 2017-2022 CAGR
Desktop + DT & Datacenter Workstation 97.8m 23.10% 86m 22.30% -2.50%
Notebook + Mobile Workstation 161.6m 38.20% 162.2m 42.10% 0.10%
Detachable Tablet 21.9m 5.20% 34.6m 9.00% 9.60%
Slate Tablet 141.8m 33.50% 102.9m 26.70% -6.20%
Grand Total 423.2m 100.00% 385.7m 100.00% -1.80%

IDC advised that emerging economies will be the bright spot in the next few years, with .7 per cent compound annual growth to be had in such markets. Elsewhere the only bright spot will be detachable tablets.

News of continuing slow-downs in PC and tablet sales come on top of the first-ever drop in smartphone sales.

Teensy plastic shields are the big new thing in 2018's laptop crop


People just don't see value in upgrades these days, and who can blame them? Devices are now almost devoid of moving parts that break and have been water-and-dust-proofed to keep their innards clean. CPU upgrades offer less obvious advantages for common workloads or tasks.

It's worth keeping some perspective, however: come 2022 the world will still make 385 million PCs and tablets a year, or more than a million a day. That's still an awesome amount of kit that will keep plenty of Reg readers busy. ®

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