IDC: The peak of PC shipments was reached two years ago

Earlier this month, IDC and Gartner said that PC shipments by about 11 percent in the second quarter of 2013, continuing a string of declines in shipments of PC hardware. Now IDC says that largest number PC shipments worldwide actually happened two years ago.

Computerworld.com reports that in the third quarter of 2011, IDC said that 96.1 million PCs shipped worldwide. Since then, those quarterly and yearly numbers have dropped and, according to Bob O'Donnell, an analyst at IDC, "It's very possible that that was the peak."

We could see less desktop PCs made like Lenovo's recent high end Erazer in the next few years.

So what does that mean? Analysts are still debating whether or not the shipments will bottom out and then go higher or if they will continue to keep dropping for years to come. Another IDC analysts, Al Gillen, thinks the PC business will make some sort of recovery, saying, "We're not predicting a continual contraction, the PC business has not gone into a free fall where years out it vanishes." Gartner has a similar opinion.

However, Sameer Singh, an analyst on the Tech-Thoughts blog, says that IDC and Gartner have both been predicting a PC recovery for a while and it has yet to materialize. He says, "I don't expect that to happen as the reason for this decline is an irreversible, secular shift in computing patterns." Singh thinks that many people will not buy PCs in favor of smartphones and tablets. He thinks that shipments of PCs will eventually go down to as low as 65 million units per quarter.

This may be one of the reasons why Microsoft decided to consolidate all of its operating system teams under one division, run by former Windows Phone chief Terry Myerson. Gillen states, " ... by putting the operating system businesses together, Microsoft can essentially offset the decline of the PC client with gains coming from mobile."

Source: Computerworld.com | Image via Lenovo

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