IDC lowers PC shipment forecast for 2015

Despite strong growth in PC shipments during the fourth quarter of last year, IDC has lowered its forecast for 2015. The market research firm expects worldwide shipments to fall 4.9% this year, a 1.6-point decline from its previous projection. IDC blames "economic and product changes" for the short-term downturn, and it says shipments will begin to level off the following year. That trend is supposed to continue through 2019.

Here are the figures from IDC's press release:

  2014 2015 (Estimated) 2019 (Estimated)
Change Shipments
Change Shipments
Desktop 133.8 -2.1% 125.5 -6.2% 121.0 -1.0%
Portable 174.3 -2.3% 167.5 -3.9% 170.4 0.3%
Total PC 308.1 -2.2% 293.1 -4.9% 291.4 -0.2%

Interestingly, IDC's numbers indicate that mature markets outperformed the rest of the world in 2014. Shipments for those areas rose 10.8% for portables, 4.6% for desktops, and 8.8% overall. But that wasn't enough to offset the 9.5% overall drop in emerging markets, which made up more than half of the worldwide total.

For this year, IDC expects PC shipments in emerging markets to fall 4.5-4.9%. The overall decline for mature markets is pegged at 5.1%, with desktops taking an 8.8% hit and portables falling 2.9%.

It's important to note that the numbers are somewhat skewed by IDC's narrow defition of portable PCs, which excludes tablets with detachable keybords. The PC's future probably looks better with devices like the Surface Pro 3 and Transformer Book T100 taken into account.

Peculiar definitions aside, IDC isn't the only one scaling back expectations. Intel has lowered its Q1 revenue estimate from $13.7 billion to $12.8 billion. The chip maker attributes the change to "weaker than expected demand for business desktop PCs and lower than expected inventory levels across the PC supply chain." The strong U.S. dollar isn't helping Intel's international sales, either.

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