High inventory, falling commodity prices and foreign exchange issues have prompted IDC to reduce its outlook for the PC market for 2016.
Expectations for early 2016 were "already fairly low", the analyst said, but a range of factors has prompted it to reduce its 2016 outlook "by a couple of per cent". Now, it predicts the global market will decline 5.4 per cent annually.
"The impact of falling commodity prices and foreign currencies has further depressed demand, and the ability to upgrade older hardware to Windows 10 has provided an option to further stretch the life of older PCs," said IDC. "Inventory clearing, which had been a challenge for much of 2015, also continues to depress demand from channels – particularly as the market shifted out of the seasonally high-volume fourth quarter into much lower volume first quarter."
The picture is more positive in the longer term, and IDC predicts that by 2018 the market will "effectively stabilise" but will not avoid some small declines in certain quarters before then.
The analyst pointed to the SMB and education sectors as star performers when it comes to PCs.
"In addition to specific devices, the SMB and education segments are expected to do better than the overall market," said Jay Chou, IDC's research manager. "There have been indications of faster commercial adoption of Windows 10 than of past operating systems, and that should support some growth in the medium term. Similarly, IT access for students remains a priority, and will drive projects across regions – even though constrained government spending may limit some projects."
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