The PC boom is over, and the business will never regain the peaks that it saw in 2011 when more than 359m were shipped worldwide, says research company IDC.
In a downward revision of its forecast for this year's PC business, it says that total shipments will fall by 9.7% compared to 2012, and will continue to drift down at least until 2017.
The culprits are smartphones, especially in emerging markets, and tablets, together with economic woes both in the west and some emerging markets.
The key to the drop is that emerging markets, and particularly
For PC makers such as
The dropoff could have long-term implications for
For consumers, the rise of tablets has produced a new refresh cycle which directly subtracts from PC makers' revenues.
"The new forecast reflects not only a continued expansion of mobile device options at the expense of PCs, but also marked the cessation of emerging market growth that the industry had come to rely on in recent years," IDC said.
IDC has repeatedly revised its forecast for PC shipments downwards since early 2010, according to data collated by the Guardian. In
But the rapid rise especially of tablets has eaten into that - so that it now reckons this year's total will hit 315.4m, a 28% cut from that older forecast.
The figures include desktop, netbook, and other laptops including ultrabooks and "convertibles" which can act as a tablet and PC, but don't include purely handheld devices or tablets such as the iPad.
IDC repeated its previous criticism of
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