IDC warns PC market to miss Q1 growth forecasts

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IDC has warned that the slowdown in Chinese PC sales during February will have an adverse effect on the first quarter performance of the worldwide PC market.

The market watcher claims China experienced slower than expected PC market growth last month, which means the Q1 worldwide shipment figures are likely to be two per cent lower than forecasted.

Global PC shipments were expected to decline by 7.7 per cent during Q1, but a double digit-sized slump is more likely now, IDC revealed.

China's influence on the global PC market can be attributed to the fact it is now the world's largest PC market, accounting for more than 21 per cent of global shipments during 2012.

The timing of this year's Chinese New Year, which fell in early February, as well as government budget cuts and the introduction of new anti-corruption measures have been blamed by IDC for the slow growth.

The analyst house also disclosed that market performance in other regions during the early months of 2013 has been "close-to-forecast", although "supply chain data indicates room for a slightly larger downward adjustment," the company added.

Loren Loverde, programme vice president for worldwide PC trackers at IDC, said a modest Q1 decline had been expected, as vendors continue to get to grips with the launch of Windows 8.

"However, our February monthly data suggest that we could see a drop touching double-digits in the first quarter and a mid-single-digit decline in the second quarter before we see any recovery in the second half of the year," Loverde warned.

"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," he added.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.