IHS: All-in-one PCs growing faster than desktops

It's no secret that PC shipments are stagnating. Gartner says last quarter was the "seventh consecutive quarter of flat to single-digit growth" for the PC market, with shipments slumping by 0.1%. Consumers, the firm notes, are shunning PCs and flocking to the latest tablets and smartphones.

That may be true, but according to another set of figures by IHS, at least one segment of the PC market is still seeing rather healthy growth: all-in-one PCs. Yes, believe it or not, IHS expects shipments of those systems to grow by a whopping 20% this year. That's compared to an anemic 0.2% of expected growth for traditional desktop PCs.

All-in-ones might be more than a passing fad, too. "By 2016," the research firm continues, "shipments [of all-in-ones] will hit an estimated 24.8 million units, equivalent to a five-year compound annual growth rate of nearly 13 percent." Behold:

As you'd expect, Apple's iMacs may end up accounting for much of that growth. Apple reportedly had a 28% share of all-in-one shipments last year, putting it in the number-one spot ahead of Lenovo, Dell, HP, and Sony.

All-in-ones have been around for quite a while—I'm sure some of us remember the ugly iMac copycats of the late 90s—but I don't recall ever hearing about them becoming popular. This might be a recent trend, and if so, it's an interesting one for sure. That said, the real volume lies elsewhere. Even if all-in-ones reach 24.8 million units in 2016, that's nothing compared to the 132.3 million traditional desktops IHS says will ship in 2012. Also, an earlier report by the firm said notebook shipments would climb from 220.1 million units to 324.9 million units between 2011 and 2015.

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