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By | Paul Kunert 3rd December 2013 13:59

PC market staging a RECOVERY. (Only joking, it's through the floor)

No mercy, no let-up.... It is down, down, down until 2017

IDC is forecasting that the technology channel will buy in around 34 million fewer PCs this year than last, and the bad news for anyone making a crust in that sector is that things aren't going to improve any time soon.

There will be no let-up on any front, with desktops and portables predicted to decline in both the mature and emerging markets where consumers have been bitten by the slab bug, and businesses continue to sweat assets.

"Perhaps the chief concern for future PC demand is a lack of reasons to replace an older system," said Jay Chou, senior research analyst at IDC.

The PC remains the "primary computing device however - they are used for more hours in a day than tabs or smartphones - but usage is on the wane as more devices battle for peoples' attention.

"Despite industry efforts, PC usage has not moved significantly beyond consumption and productivity tasks to differentiate PCs from other devices. As a result, PC lifespan continue to increase," said Chou.

This is a point acknowledged by former HP PC boss Eric Cador, replaced by Herbert Koeck this year, when he said vendors had only themselves to blame for a lack of PC innovation.

Globally desktop sales are forecast to decline 5.3 per cent this year to 135.6 million units and to drop to 121 million units by 2017.

Portables are estimated to decline 11.1 per cent to 178.6 million this year but will stage a recovery by the end of the forecast period to 184.1 million.

IDC reckons hybrid devices - those that can transform from clamshell to slate and back, "many of which will run Windows" are expected to provide some volume activity for the "traditional PC ecosystem".

Separately, Windows tabs are forecast to account for 39.3 million unit sales in 2017 up from the 7.6 million touted for this year.

Worldwide PC shipments - not including slabs - are forecast to drop from 349.4 million last year to 314.2 million this year, and to 305.1 million by 2017. ®

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