Global PC shipments have been on the decline for the past couple of years, but research firm IDC (News - Alert) says that they are falling even faster than it had predicted due to weak sales in China, which has been among the largest consumers of PCs in recent years. Indeed, slowed shipments in the country related to government budget cuts, among other factors, could result in shipments falling by a double-digit percentage in 2013's first quarter.
The previous estimate for the quarter from IDC was a decline of 7.7 percent. However, global PC shipments for the entire year are expected to decline by at most two percent, according to IDC program vice president of Worldwide PC Trackers, Loren Loverde.
He went on to warn that achieving this number will be quite a feat, however, adding, "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."
Indeed, some financial analysts have reduced their forecasts for Intel's (News - Alert) first quarter results on the back of the PC sales seen so far this year. Still, though, the company that has its processors in about 80 percent of PCs said it expects revenue between $12.2 and $13.2 billion this quarter, while analysts expect it to be $12.69 billion.
China is now the top PC market in the world, accounting for over 21 percent of global shipments last year, but government spending cuts, new anti-corruption measures and Chinese New Year all apparently led to fewer PC purchases in the country.
Meanwhile, smartphone sales continue to increase led by Samsung and Apple, both of which made up the vast majority of smartphone sales in the final quarter of 2012. Specifically, Samsung shipped 63.7 million smartphones during the period, a 76 percent increase from a year prior, while Apple (News - Alert) shipped a company record 47.8 million, an increase of 29.2 percent. The total smartphone market increased 36.4 percent from 2011 to hit 219.4 million units.