IDC: PCs, Tablets 2015 Outlook Bleak, Wearables Soar
Researcher IDC released its latest figures on the 2015 growth rates of PCs, tablets and wearables, and other than the latter category the figures aren’t encouraging.
IDC expects global PC shipments to slide by 8.7 percent this year and not to stop falling until 2017, when the segment will have recorded five straight years of shipment losses. The researcher believes PCs will begin to climb upward in 2017, however, led by business sales even as consumers continue to turn away from desktops and notebooks through 2019.
What’s holding PCs back? Global economic issues, a free Windows 10 upgrade and an absence of new models, along with a reluctance by channel partners to take on inventory all are hampering growth, the researcher said. Not until 2017, when a PC refresh cycle might occur, will the segment get a spark, and that’s likely to come mostly from business customers, IDC said.
“Although the shortcomings of the PC business are obvious, a silver lining is that the industry has continued to refine the more mobile aspects of personal computers – contributing to higher growth in convertible & ultraslim notebooks,” said Jay Chou, IDC senior research analyst.
Prospects aren’t much rosier for tablets than for PCs, according to IDC’s figures. The researcher expects tablet shipments, including 2-in-1 devices, to slip 8 percent in 2015 to 212 million units, a deeper slide than the 3.8 percent dip IDC initially expected for the year.
On the plus side, IDC said OEMs are putting a little more juice into the 2-in-one market and as a result, the researcher projects that sub-segment will grow 86.5 percent year-over-year in 2015 to some 14.7 million units.
“We estimate that over 40 different vendors shipped 2-in-1 products in the second quarter of 2015, which is up from just 14 vendors two years ago,” said Ryan Reith, IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker program director. “With the launch of Windows 10, the introduction of more Android-based products, and the possibility that Apple will unveil a larger, screen-detachable iPad, this is the space to watch.”
IDC said that the expected arrival of Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the propagation of Windows 10, which is well-suited for 2-in-1 devices, and Intel’s (INTC) Skylake chip will together prompt a slew of new 2-in-1 models before the year is out.
The researcher expects tablets with screen sizes greater than 10-inches along with 2-in-1’s will grow to nearly 40 percent of the market by 2019, driven by phablet demand and new enterprise mobility solutions.
As for wearables, IDC said Apple’s entry into the market with its Watch propelled the segment to a meteoric 223 percent growth in Q2 to some 18.1 million units.
Based on 3.6 million shipments of its Watch, Apple jumped into second place in the segment behind market leader Fitbit, which shipped about 4.4 million units, IDC said.
“Anytime Apple enters a new market, not only does it draw attention to itself, but to the market as a whole,” said Ramon Llamas, IDC Wearables research manager.
“Its participation benefits multiple players and platforms within the wearables ecosystem, and ultimately drives total volumes higher,” he said. “Fairly or not, Apple will become the stick against which other wearables are measured, and competing vendors need to stay current or ahead of Apple.”