IDC is out with its latest PC shipment prognostications for 2013, and the number's aren't good. IDC expects worldwide PC shipments to decline 10.1 percent in 2013 compared to 2012. That's "by far the most severe yearly contraction on record," but it's only part of the story.
NetMarketShare's combined Windows 8 and 8.1 Internet usage numbers climbed from 9.0 to 9.3 percent between October and November, an anemic showing at best -- but that, too, is only part of the story. The PC market is getting hammered hard and as best I can tell, 2014 will be worse -- much worse.
Let's reset the system clock. In early March I took a look at the then-current predictions for PC shipments in 2013, when IDC stated:
A few months ago, IDC was predicting a 2.8 percent increase in worldwide PC sales for 2013. Three months later, the prediction now stands at a 1.3 percent loss.
Nine months later, IDC is predicting a 10.1 percent decrease in worldwide PC shipments for the year. It's worth noting that IDC made the prediction of a 1.3 percent decline when it already had three months of data to work with. (In the same article I said, "it wouldn't surprise me a bit to see double-digit declines, year-on-year, for desktop and notebook PCs.")
Now IDC predicts "Total shipments are expected to decline by an additional 3.8 percent in 2014 before turning slightly positive in the longer term." If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn in need of bidders.
Three weeks ago Gartner predicted that fourth-quarter PC shipments in 2013 will be 3 percent lower than in 2012, and the PC industry is "nearing bottom." I say they're dreaming. We haven't even started to hit bottom.