The World According To IDC

I like IDC. They are an invaluable source of information about shipments of personal computers. I love PCs.“PCs include Desktop, Mini Notebook and other Portable PCs which possess non-detachable keyboards, and do not include handhelds or Tablets” One thing that’s pretty silly, however, is IDC clinging to the strange idea that a personal computer can’t be a tablet or smartphone. That warps whatever maths they do to make their estimates. What happens if 100 million people decide a tablet is a PC this year or next? What happens if 300 million people decide a smartphone is all they need?
The world looks quite different then. Clearly that should happen. Why has there been decline in IDC’s PC-worldview in 2012, 2013 and 2014 (forecast), but no further? That’s not realistic. There are reasons PCs of IDC’s kind have declined:

  • size/portability
  • price

The small cheap personal computers are small and cheap. People love them. They are personal computers, IDC.
People are just tired of paying for what they don’t need: wasted material and space and licensing fees for M$. Smartphones can do everything most people need done with a computer, by far: HDMI, USB, browsing, messaging, voice and GPS… Hook up a keyboard, mouse and monitor if you need something bigger. There’s no need for a bigger, more expensive box. Nowadays, almost everything except the package is built into a single chip.

See IDC Expects PC Shipments to Fall by -6% in 2014 and Decline Through 2018.

UPDATE In a fine example of one hand not knowing what the other is doing, IDC reported that the rate of growth of tablets shipments is slowing and shipments will be about 261 million in 2014. Surely, some percentage of tablets are replacing those clunky legacy PCs so there is continuing reason to believe growth of legacy PCs will be low or even negative for years to come and IDC knows it.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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5 Responses to The World According To IDC

  1. oiaohm wrote, “IDC includes chromebooks as notebooks.”

    Same with GNU/Linux notebooks and desktops. Canonical claims 5% are Ubuntu GNU/Linux and then there are millions of other distros’ units.

  2. oiaohm says:

    IDC includes chromebooks as notebooks. This is why the 10 percent decline is in fact a larger Windows market decline than 10 percent.

  3. ram says:

    How does IDC ignore those large Google Chromebooks. They are as big as the biggest laptops. They are laptops, Linux laptops, and they are selling like hotcakes.

    Also how does IDC ignore all those Shuttle Atom boxes (designed for Linux) and the Intel NUC boxen (also designed for Linux)?

  4. wolfgang says:

    …what is computer…
    all kinds of hair slicing here, but it best to go back to customer. walk in store wanting computer, what gets looked at? phone? tablet? pc? customer never to into store to buy computer and come out with new phone. same for tablet or pc. have mind set on what to buy.
    many people find that they do not need a pc if they have a tablet. same with phone. many others have two or three each.
    IDC just draw box around each and describe how good business is. or bad.

  5. Mats Hagglund says:

    There might be a reason why IDC (company with strong Microsoft connections) don’t want to talk about mobiles as personal computers. The reason is of course terrible low Windows market share on those divisions (smartphone, tablet).

    What ever IDC is claiming one thing is sure: especially young people in west and majority of people in 3rd world are using mobiles as personal computers.

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