IDC: Fewer desktop PCs to be sold from now on
Emphasizing the declining role of the desktop PC form factor in worldwide sales, the analysts of IDC's Quarterly PC Tracker now predict portable PCs will constitute 65% of US PC sales by 2011.
The time of the desktop-bound computer has peaked in the United States, concludes Loren Loverde, Richard Shim, and the analysts of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker report this morning. In figures the team released this morning, they predict 38.2 million desktop-based PCs and x86-based servers will have been sold in the US in 2007, a decline of just over 3% from 2006.
From there, desktop PC and server shipments will continue to decline in this country, by as much as 12% in 2008, with the decline tapering off by 2011. Still, IDC predicts 28.8 million of these form factors sold in this country by that time, a decline of one-third over projections for this year.
The reasons are not at all economic. Growth in portables is surging ahead, and is predicted to usurp all those losses in the desktop form factor, and then some. When all the figures are added up, IDC believes 21% more notebook PCs and other portable form factors (such as UMPC, and micro-models such as from OQO) will have been shipped this year than in 2006: 31.6 million units. The shift in balance will happen next year, the team predicts, with 37.7 million portables shipped in the US in 2008 versus 34.1 million desktops.
And the decline in desktop shipments will be confined to the US, says IDC, as desktop shipments worldwide will continue to grow at a rate of 7% per year, from 121.3 million predicted desktop shipments in 2007 to 152.1 million in 2011. But that's the year when the desktop/portable shift will happen for the world at large, as IDC says 155.4 million portables will be shipped worldwide.
"The significant influences driving the growth of portable PC volume include: falling prices, the narrowing performance gap as compared with desktops, improving wireless connectivity, and the expanded access through retail channels," stated the PC Tracker team's Richard Shim in a statement this morning. Desktop PCs will be transformed, Shim believes, for marketing purposes -- in fact, they might actually end up looking more like portables, or like Dell's XPS One.
Early corroboration of IDC's predictions came yesterday from the leading Taiwanese desktop motherboard producers. Yesterday, DigiTimes reported that AsusTek, Micro-Star International, and Gigabyte reported monthly declines in motherboard orders, with AsusTek reporting November brought forth almost 10% fewer orders than for the same month a year ago. Enthusiast "mobo" manufacturer Gigabyte reported its November revenues were down 27% over the same month in 2006.