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IDC gets even more pessimistic about PC sales

Retirement of Windows 10 should eventually drive recovery in 2024 and 2025

The PC and tablet markets are in such a bad slump that analyst firm IDC has lowered its 2023 shipment forecast by 26 million.

IDC now predicts 403.1 million units will be shipped this year instead of the 429.5 million it forecast at the end of 2022. Tablets are expected to make up 142.3 million of these shipments and traditional form factors will account for the rest.

The numbers represent a decline of 11.2 percent year-on-year for 2023 – 12 percent decline for tablets and 10.7 percent for traditional PCs.

IDC cites declining demand and challenging macroeconomic conditions – like the impact of a strong US dollar on global buying power.

"With consumers no longer bound by COVID restrictions and commercial backorders for PCs largely completed, the second half of 2022 sent a strong signal that endpoint devices are no longer the focal point and that 2023 will be a time for inventory clearing and shifting priorities," reported the firm.

But not all is doom and gloom. Research manager Jitesh Ubrani said "hybrid work and 1:1 deployments in schools have permanently increased the size of the total addressable market" and "will remain a bright spot."

The new forecast falls below pre-pandemic 2019 sales of 410.8 million units, when 144.1 million tablets and 266.7 million PCs shipped. A rewind to that year reveals 2019 was the first time in seven years the global PC market had experienced growth. Businesses needing to upgrade to Windows 10 drove the sales spike.

IDC expects the "sunsetting" of Windows 10 will once again help boost industry recovery in 2024 and 2025. Microsoft is slated to retire support for the operating system in October 2025. Educational entities needing refreshes will drive Chromebooks and Android tablets in 2024 and 2025 but, according to IDC, Apple will likely get left behind. ®

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