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Wintel dust up: Intel supply woes vs Win10 demand

Sorry suits, PC sales set to slide this year despite OS excuse to refresh computer tin

The PC industry is trapped in a battle between the immovable objects that are Intel shortages and crap consumer demand, versus the unstoppable force of enterprises upgrading to Windows 10.

Analyst house IDC has forecast shipments to Western European channels - distributors and retailers - to shrink 3.3 per cent this year to 76.3 million PCs and by another 3 per cent in 2019 to 74 million.

"Despite growing demand from the commercial space, the Western European personal device market is expected to be marginally constrained by the CPU shortage from Intel, particularly on the notebook side," said Malini Paul, IDC research manager.

“Skylake and entry-level processors are most likely to be hit in this situation, thereby impacting shipments, particularly in enterprise and public segments,” she added.

HP and Lenovo told us back in October they expect another six months of Intel processor supply worries. And HP Inc CEO Dion Weisler said during its Q4 of fiscal '18 numbers that shortages will hit the bottom line in the quarters to come.

"We are seeing that impact across multiple facilities of core products, they have an affect on both the high and low-end of the range," she said.

Intel CFO Robert Swann last month told Credit Suisse's 22 annual TMT Conference the plan is to "prioritise" supply for "Xeon or servers first".

He admitted this is "not a position that we really ever want to be in as a company because, it is core, supply contained means we limit the growth of our customers". He added that Intel had "fundamentally… missed" the correct forecasts.

Windows 10 continues to be a lure for PC buyers in the wider enterprise space and ultra light mobiles is causing a stir too, particularly in the mid-market, IDC claimed. The refresh began at the tail end of 2017 and is expected to continue for a a good few quarters yet.

The drag on market expansion in Western Europe remains due to soggy demand from retail shoppers. The outlook is still gloomy with the new breed of notebooks casting a shadow over traditional notebooks and proving a “challenge” for consumer desktop sales.

All of this fed into IDC's forecasts for 2018 through to 2022 (see table below)... ®

Western Europe traditional PC + tablet forecast: 3 2018 to 2022

Product 2018 Shipments 2018 Share 2022 Shipments 2022 Share 2018-2022 CAGR
Slate tablet 24.28 million 32.3% 21.430 million 30.8% -3.1%
Detachable tablet 6.148 million 8.2% 9.304 million 13.4% 10.9%
Traditional notebook 15.011 million 20% 7.813 million 11.2% -15.1%
Ultraslim notebook 12.950 million 17.2% 15.627 million 22.4% 4.8%
Convertible notebook 3.371 million 4.5% 4.891 million 7% 9.8%
Traditional desktop 11.557 million 15.4% 8.687 million 12.5% -6.9%
All-in-one desktop 1.762 million 2.3% 1.936 million 2.8% 2.4%
Total 75.078 million 100% 69.689 million 100% -1.8%

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