The upcoming end of support for Windows 7 - set for 14 January 2020 - has injected fresh life into a stagnating devices market, but declines are forecast for the year ahead.
According to new findings from IDC, overall personal computing device shipments will reach 407.7 million by the end of 2019, up 0.5 per cent from 2018.
Despite such growth however, long-term forecasts remain negative with the analyst firm expecting the market to “dip” to 366.7 million units by 2023, recording a compound annual growth rate of -2.6 per cent during the period.
“The upcoming end of support for Windows 7 has been a boon for the industry as commercial organisations around the globe have been pursuing hardware upgrades in 2019," said Jitesh Ubrani research manager, IDC.
“However, 2020 will remain challenged as the runway for OS-driven hardware purchases shortens and as upcoming tariffs combined with expected chip shortages lead to a seven per cent decline in new shipments.”
With a challenging forecast ahead, IDC still “anticipates growth” in modern form factors such as 2-in-1s and thin and light notebooks.
“The migration of consumers towards higher price bands with each product lifecycle will be critical to the long-range health of the personal computing device industry," said Linn Huang, research vice president, IDC. "With compute increasingly moving into the cloud and spreading out across an exploding number of devices, things, and sensors, substantial market expansion for PCs and tablets is unlikely over the long haul.
"Consequently, rising average selling prices (ASPs) will help offset persistent sluggishness in mature technology categories.”
Though other form factors such as traditional desktops and notebooks will continue to decline, IDC also anticipates a growing share of those form factors will cater to emerging demand for creator PCs as well as sustained demand for gaming PCs.
Meanwhile, slate tablets will continue a "downward trajectory" as lifecycles extend and incumbents such as Apple, Samsung, and Huawei slowly shift product portfolios toward detachable tablets.
"Finally, a growing supply of cellular-enabled PCs will also provide an uplift for notebooks and detachable tablets as telcos around the world work closely with the likes of Intel, MediaTek, and Qualcomm to bring 4G-enabled devices in the short term, and 5G-enabled devices in the long term into the hands of consumers and businesses alike," an IDC report added.