IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Notebooks, Detachables Are Bright Spots in PC Market

Research from IDC shows channel pros can find opportunity in business PC upgrades, gaming, and high-end notebooks. By Colleen Frye

GAMING, BUSINESS PC UPGRADES, and higher-end notebooks are areas where channel pros can find opportunity in the sluggish personal computing device (PCD) market, according to market research firm IDC.

The global PCD market, comprising traditional PCs (desktops, notebooks, and workstations) and tablets, was on pace to decline 3.9 percent in 2018, according to IDC’s latest Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, and that shrinkage will continue through 2022, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -1.8 percent.

Tablets (slates and detachables), which have been waning since 2015, will take the hardest hit, with a -3.5 percent CAGR from 2018 to 2022, the report says.

While the market for detachable tablets is still growing, IDC adjusted the forecast downward to a 7.8 percent CAGR through 2022, though the analyst does expect to see improvement in this segment from the education and finance verticals.

“For the first time since the form factor’s introduction, annual volumes are expected to be down compared to the previous year,” said Lauren Guenveur, senior research analyst, devices and displays, in a press statement. “However, we expect the market will recover in 2019 as new products from Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, and Google become more readily available.” 

Within the traditional PC segment, desktops will struggle the most, while notebook and mobile workstation shipments are expected to grow through 2022, albeit slowly at 0.4 percent. Improvements in the Windows value proposition will also translate into gains for higher-end systems, such as convertible notebooks, says IDC.

The bright side for channel pros? “With the commercial upgrade heading into its final stretch over the next year or so, we believe that will drive much of the focus and volume, with opportunities across the pricing spectrum,” said Jay Chou, research manager, PCD Tracker at IDC, in a press statement.

About the Author

Colleen Frye's picture

Colleen Frye is ChannelPro's managing editor.

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