More gloom awaits PC market in 2013

The PC slump is here to stay. IDC forecasts that shipments of PCs will decline by 1.3 percent in 2013, on top of a 3.7 decline in 2012. About 345.8 million PCs will be shipped this year.

Windows 8 failed to rekindle interest in PCs and IDC believes the lukewarm reception of Redmond’s new OS will continue to plague the market. Meanwhile consumers are still going after tablets, and Microsoft has not had much luck pushing Windows RT and Windows 8 in the tablet space.

Sales of desktop PCs are expected to slow down in all markets, but sales of portable PCs will grow in emerging markets. It sounds like good news for makers of mid range and entry level laptops, and to some extent AMD, slated to introduce some very competitive low-end APUs in a few months. However, in the end it is bad news for both Intel and AMD, since they won’t cash in on the tablet craze this year.

IDC vice president Loren Loverde warned growth in emerging markets has slowed considerably and that consumers are still choosing more portable alternatives over PCs, i.e. tablets.

“We still don’t see tablets – with limited local storage, file system, lesser focus on traditional productivity, etc. – as functional competitors to PCs. But they are winning consumer dollars with mobility and consumer appeal nevertheless,” he said.

There is some good news to report. Sales are expected to pick up in the second half of the year, as Microsoft cuts support for Windows XP.