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Outlook not great as PCD market set to continue its decline

The market for personal computing devices is continuing its struggle, with the global market expected to decline 3% in 2019, according to IDC. 

Units, which include traditional PCs and tablets, will reach 392.5 million units, according to the latest forecast from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. 

According to the report, the decline is set to continue through 2023 with unit shipments reaching 367.7 million and a compound annual growth rate of -1.6%.

Despite the long-term decline, 2019 is shaping up to be an interesting year as the dollar value of the market will remain roughly flat at $237 billion amid a unit decline, IDC says. 

Average selling prices (ASPs) for the entire market are expected to rise by 2.6% in 2019 driven by new technologies, such as thinner bezels on notebook screens that have increased demand for 2-in-1 form factors, and ongoing demand for gaming PCs. 

Additionally, shipments into the commercial segment are expected to provide an uplift in ASPs in 2019 as many enterprises move to replace their PCs before Microsoft ends support for Windows 7 in early 2020.

"Many enterprises are also looking to modernise their workforce by deploying ultraslim notebooks and 2-in-1 form factors," explains Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. 

"Not only are these devices expected to mobilise the workforce, but providing more brand and form factor options has proven successful at bringing younger talent into the work force," he says.

According to the report, the consumer side of the market will remain challenged with shipments expected to decline 6% year over year in 2019 and throughout the five-year forecast with a CAGR of -2.7%. 

Traditional notebooks and slate tablets will continue to pull the segment down as consumers have migrated to newer, thinner form factors that often include some sort of 2-in-1 option.

Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, says both the PC and tablet market have encountered numerous challenges in recent years when it comes to consumer growth.

"Smartphones continue to be top of mind for consumers when it comes to new device purchases, and arguably the rapid adoption of large screen smartphones has resulted in consumers doing less on their PC or tablet and more on their phone," Reith explains. 

"Looking ahead, the areas we are watching for consumer growth are a broader range of gaming PCs, including lower-priced options, as well as thin and light notebooks at more attractive price points."