PC Shipments to Decline in 2013 (revised) - Analyst Blog

Credit: Shutterstock photo

PC vendors are in for a tough time ahead as the latest IDC report revealed that PC shipments are expected to decline 9.7% in 2013. The current annual projection worsened from the research firm's earlier forecasts of a 1.3% drop (projected in March) and a 7.8% decrease (forecasted in May) for 2013, primarily due to the continued shift in consumer preferences toward mobile devices.

What's worse, IDC traces the slump to softness in emerging markets, which has for some time supported growth. PC shipments in emerging markets are expected to be down 9.8% in 2013, steeper than the 9.4% year-over-year decline in mature markets.

China appears to be the main reason for the lowered forecast, due to continued shift in customer preferences toward tablets and smartphones. IDC says that some inventory has accumulated in the channel.

Despite these mundane and disappointing 2013 projections, IDC expects the rate of decline to moderate and a slow rebound in PC shipments after 2014 aided by system refreshes and businesses opting for system migrations beyond Windows 7. However, the lack of new and enhanced applications could pose challenges.

The PC market is already in the doldrums as the second-quarter PC shipments were down 11.7% from the year-ago period. The top 3 global PC vendors - Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ ) and Dell ( DELL ) - have not only recorded a decrease in shipments but also contractions in market shares. On a geographic basis, PC shipments were down across the U.S., the EMEA and the Asia/Pacific.

We believe that the emergence and rapid adoption of handheld computing devices from Apple ( AAPL ), Samsung and other Asian companies are cannibalizing PC sales and this trend may be expected to continue. This also raises a question about the future of the PC industry and the prospects of companies relying substantially on the sale of PC's (H-P and Dell). Related markets, such as security are also feeling the pinch.

We believe that the ability to migrate to mobile platforms and/or data centers may be the only possible solution for these players.

Currently, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Apple and Symantec carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

(We are republishing this article to correct an error. We earlier had erroneously stated that Symantec (SYMC) was exiting the PC market, which is inaccurate. The original article, published Sept. 4, 2013, is no longer to be relied upon.)

APPLE INC (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report

DELL INC (DELL): Free Stock Analysis Report

HEWLETT PACKARD (HPQ): Free Stock Analysis Report

SYMANTEC CORP (SYMC): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on click here.

Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story


Other Topics


Latest Markets Videos


Zacks is the leading investment research firm focusing on stock research, analysis and recommendations. In 1978, our founder discovered the power of earnings estimate revisions to enable profitable investment decisions. Today, that discovery is still the heart of the Zacks Rank. A wealth of resources for individual investors is available at

Learn More