The PC market is likely to contract by a further 6% during 2014, according to a new forecast released by market analysts IDC.
In a further blow to PC makers, including Acer, Asus, HP and Dell, the IDC figures predict the total PC market will contract from 315.1 million units worldwide during 2013 to just 295.9 million in 2014.
Worse, the industry contraction is likely to continue in the years ahead, with IDC predicting total worldwide PC sales in 2018 of just 291.7 million.
The figures anticipate desktop PC sales will slump from 136.7 million in 2013 to 129.1 million in 2014, while portable PC sales will drop from 178.4 million to 166.8 million.
More alarmingly, the contractions will affect mature markets, where shipments will fall from 133.3 million in 2013 to 128.2 million in 2014, as well as emerging markets, where shipments will fall from 181.9 million to 167.7 million.
In a statement, IDC worldwide PC trackers president Loren Loverde says emerging markets were historically a big driver of growth for the PC industry.
“Emerging markets used to be a core driver of the PC market, as rising penetration among large populations boosted overall growth.
“At the moment, however, we’re seeing emerging regions more affected by a weak economic environment as well as significant shifts in technology buying priorities.
“We do expect these regions to recover in the medium term and perform better than mature regions, but growth is expected to stabilise near zero percent, rather than driving increasing volumes as we saw in the past.”
As SmartCompany reported earlier this year, Gartner figures for the fourth quarter of 2013 showed the global PC market contracted for the seventh consecutive quarter.
Total worldwide shipments for the quarter fell 7.5% year-on-year to 15.795 million units, down from 17.068 million units for the same quarter last year.
Declines at Taiwanese PC maker Acer were far worse than the industry average, with its full-year shipments collapsing a massive 28.1% from 35.7 million units in 2012 to just 25.6 million for 2013.