International Data Corporation has published its most recent update in regards to its outlook for the personal computer market and its likely evolution during the current year (2012).
IDC hoped that 2012 would not be the same as 2011, when PC shipments grew, year-over-year, by less than 2%.
Unfortunately, those hopes have been dashed by what it sees as consumer reluctance to buy products until new devices come out.
The upcoming wave of systems and tablets running Microsoft's inbound Windows 8 operating system is seen as a major cause of the weak mid-year shipments.
Ultrabooks have also failed to reel in as many customers as their supporters hoped, and the aforementioned OS only makes things worse.
PC shipments will pick up in October and November, but they aren't expected to offset the slowdown of the third quarter.
There is also the high probability for new products to be very close in price and specifications, potentially prompting customers to spend more time browsing than usual.
All in all, around 367 million PCs will ship this year, meaning 0.9% more than in 2011. It will be the second consecutive year of sub-2% positive progress.
“The third-quarter back to school season is [...] proving to be a challenging period, despite prices dropping to their lowest levels. We expect the year will end with shipments in the U.S. falling by 3.7%, marking the second consecutive year of contraction,” said David Daoud, research director, Personal Computing at IDC.
"Factors such as Windows 8 coupled with Ultrabooks could present a positive turn of events next year, but it also faces some initial hurdles; chief of which is that buyers must acclimate themselves to an operating system that is a dramatic departure from existing PC paradigms. The PC ecosystem faces some work to properly educate the market," said Jay Chou, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.
Worldwide PC shipment growth is set to be of 7.1% from 2013 to 2016, on average.