PC shipments in the second half of 2011 grew by a less-than-robust 1.8% and the first half of 2012 is expected to see only modest growth. That should change by the second half of the year with the release of the Windows 8 operating system from Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), according to the latest data from International Data Corp. (IDC). Sales of the new ultra-thin, lightweight Ultrabook notebook computers championed by Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) will also contribute to the second half sales boost.
IDC attributes the slowing growth of PC shipments to rising purchases of mobile devices like the iPad from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). In developed markets like the US and Europe, PC shipments actually fell by -9% in 2011.
An IDC spokesman said:
Many consumers are holding off making PC purchases at the moment because tablet devices like Apple’s iPad are proving to be a powerful distraction. However, end user surveys tell us that few people consider media tablets as replacements for their PCs, so later this year when there is a new Microsoft operating system, available in sleek new PC form factors, we believe consumer interest in PCs will begin to rebound.
The research firm forecasts full-year shipment growth in 2012 at 5%.