PC shipments will continue to fall, says IDC

The number of personal computers worldwide is expected to drop 6 percent this year, according to a study published Tuesday.

Richard Nieva Former senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
Richard Nieva


For those concerned about the impending death of the personal computer, reassuring news did not come on Tuesday.

According to a study published by research firm IDC, worldwide shipments of PCs will drop 6 percent overall this year. The continued decline of the products -- they fell 9.8 percent in 2013 -- comes as consumers continue to embrace mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. As of December, one in every five people owned a smartphone, according to BI Intelligence, the subscription research service operated by Business Insider.

While many have already pointed to the "post-PC era," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took the idea even further, declaring last week that we are in the " post, post PC-era."

IDC's figure takes into account shipments of PCs from manufacturers to stores, and not stores to consumers. The firm projected that 296.3 million PCs would ship in 2014, down from the 315.1 million shipped last year. IDC predicts that the number will fall even further to 287.3 million in 2018.

The firm adjusted its estimate slightly, after previously projecting that shipments would fall 6.1 percent. The changed forecast comes from shipments slightly higher than expected in "mature regions" like Western Europe.