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Tuesday, June 03, 2014
PC Outlook Remains Subdued

Worldwide PC shipments are expected to fall -6.0% in 2014, a slight adjustment from IDC's previous forecast of -6.1%.

IDC says that mature regions benefitted primarily from a recovery surge in Western Europe while other mature regions performed modestly above expectations in the first quarter of 2014 (1Q14). Emerging regions continued to see weak demand and difficult conditions, although the economic environment in Latin America had the largest impact. The impact to emerging regions outweighed the short-term boost seen in mature regions.

Positive factors for the PC market include slowing tablet demand and steadying economic indicators that are contributing to more stable PC shipments in mature markets. The Windows XP replacement activity that boosted shipments in the past several quarters is also expected to remain a positive factor for a few more quarters.

Consumer interest in PCs remains constrained and price-sensitive, as evidenced by overall market declines and still modest ultraslim notebook results, even as Chromebook vendors and channels expand and boost volume in this low-end segment. The competitive environment is also evidenced in the sale of Sony's PC division, and Samsung refocusing its PC operations. IDC expects further market restructuring and consolidation going forward as vendors review limited PC growth and look at broader mobility and computing trends.

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