PC market sees sharpest decline ever in 2013, report claims

PC market sees sharpest decline ever in 2013, report claims
Aaron Lee

By Aaron Lee

April 11th 2013 at 12:30PM

Research firm says PC has seen 'the steepest decline ever in a single quarter'

The PC market appears to be deteriorating faster than previously thought, if figures from research firm IDC are to be believed.

The research firm said PC sales witnessed “the steepest decline ever in a single quarter” this year – excluding tablets and notebooks with a removable screen or keyboard, down 13.9 per cent to 76.3 million from the same quarter last year.

That’s more than double the decline the market felt in the last year of 2012, which was down 6.4 per cent.

If the firm’s findings are correct, it will concern games publishers, some of whom have exhibited skittishness towards the PC.

In January, IDC noted that sales declined year-to-year over the holiday season for the first time in more than five years.

This latest report from IDC marks the fourth consecutive quarter that PC shipments have decreased.

“Despite some mild improvement in the economic environment and some new PC models offering Windows 8, PC shipments were down significantly across all regions compared to a year ago,” IDC wrote in its report.

“At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market.”

Although, these figures do not include tablet and hybrid computers, which large portion of the Windows 8 market is composed of, so these figures must be taken with this context.

However, this does not mean the PC games market is in similar ill health. Valve’s business reportedly grew 50 per cent in 2012, thanks to PC hits such as Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2 on its Steam platform, which demonstrates there is still a large audience using the platform, despite the decline in shipments for traditional PC hardware.