Windows 10 free upgrades continue to contribute to a decline in forecasted PC sales in 2016 as users gain access to a new operating system without needing to buy a new machine.
Analyst firm IDC predicts that PC shipments will fall by 7.3 per cent year on year, and that growth in the market will be two per cent below earlier predictions for 2016.
IDC lays the blame for this decline on challenging markets and the free rollout of Windows 10 from earlier versions of the operating system. This clearly goes against HP’s claim last year that Windows 10 will ‘inspire’ users to buy a new PC.
“Although growth rates for devices such as phones and tablets continue to fall, potentially reducing the competitive pressure on PCs, we have not seen this translate into stronger PC shipments,” said IDC.
“The financial pressure on consumers across regions, and the availability of alternatives such as delaying a PC replacement by using a free Windows 10 upgrade, or relying more on other devices, continues to pressure consumer PC shipments.
"Similarly, while a large share of enterprises are evaluating Windows 10, the pace of new PC purchases has not yet stabilised commercial PC shipments.”
IDC also noted that hybrid laptop-tablet devices are posing a challenge to the PC markets, as falling prices and laptop-like functionality make them an attractive alternative to more expensive dedicated laptops.
Jay Chou, research manager of the Worldwide PC Tracker at IDC, explained that market pressures are predominately on the consumer side.
"The economic and competitive pressures are particularly affecting the consumer segment, which is projected to see another year of double-digit declines in 2016, and decline throughout the forecast,” he said.
"In contrast, commercial shipments are projected to decline just 4.4 per cent in 2016 and see slightly positive growth for the next few years."
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