Normally, a positive financial forecast is cause for excitement, but the PC market hasn't been a source of great cheer for a couple of years now, something that doesn't seem to be on the verge of changing any time soon.
In marketing terms, this news is bigger than the rumor that HP and Lenovo will suffer from lower laptop sales.
It is also a follow-up, of sorts, to the preliminary PC sales report for the year 2012, which found that the fourth quarter was the first one in five years when holiday sales dropped compared to the previous year.
Long story short, the worldwide personal computer market revenue will grow this year by only 1.6%, to $40.7 billion / 30.62 billion Euro. This is IDC's prediction at least.
Mobile PCs will suffer from the continued presence and growing prominence of tablet PCs, especially when the screen size is 13.3 inches or smaller.
Intel and AMD x86 processors will also lose more ground to ARM chips, as the latter gain performance but maintain their power efficiency advantage.
As for servers, ARM processors won't be quite as easily accepted. IDC doesn't believe ARM chips will account for more than 3.2% of the total server chip market by 2016.
Speaking of 2016, the microprocessor market will barely be only 3.4% larger than in 2011 in terms of revenue, and 3.2% in terms of shipments.
“Macroeconomic uncertainty has forced OEM and IT customers to reduce orders and focus on execution, and reduce expectations after the launch of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system in late October,” said Shane Rau, vice president for PC and server semiconductor and enabling technologies research at IDC.
“Delays in PC purchases caused by Windows 8 and the encroachment of media tablets on low-end PCs have further cut into PC microprocessor demand growth.”
Unit-wise, around 384 million PC microprocessors should ship this year.