IDC readjusted its PC sales forecast after seeing weak shipments in February.
Weaker than expected February PC shipments prompted International Data Corporation to reassess the market and adjust its expectation for the first quarter. Whereas IDC previously expected PC shipments to decline by 7.7 percent in Q1, the market research firm now says the drop could hit double digits, followed by a mid-single-digit decline in the second quarter before a recovery is in sight.
The slowdown in PC sales is partially due to the timing of the Chinese New Year and other expected factors, though budget cuts from the government and anti-corruption measures are also slowing purchases more than expected, IDC says. Numbers should improve in March, but not so much that they would offset February's weak results.
"Even getting to positive growth in the second half of 2013 will take some attractive new PC designs and more competitive pricing relative to tablets and other products," said Loren Loverde, Program Vice President, Worldwide PC Trackers at IDC.
There's no denying that tablets and smartphones are cutting into PC sales, though to what extent is up for debate. At the same time, Microsoft is trying to spur new PC sales by offering price cuts for Windows 8-based systems, including desktops, notebook/Ultrabooks, and all-in-ones.