Device Forecast Sees Longer PC Replacement Cycles

Earlier this week IDC issued its new projections regarding hardware "shipments" through 2017. The bottom line is: continued growth for smartphones and especially tablets ("connected devices") but negative growth for PCs.

IDC said that in 2012 tablet shipments "surpassed 128 million" and sees increasing demand across markets. While "shipments" is often an inaccurate and misleading metric for market-share purposes, it does indicate the "directional" trend in the market. 

Even in emerging, immature markets PCs will only see "moderate single-digit growth" according to the forecast.

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The company said that replacement cycles are getting much longer for PCs as tablets and smartphones make more frequent replacement unnecessary. However IDC does continue to forecast laptop growth. I suspect that projection may turn out to be optimistic at least in non-emerging markets. 

Device penetration drives internet usage patterns. And while online publishers and marketers "intellectually" understand what's happening they have been generally slow to adapt their strategies and tactics to match the radical changes taking place in the market.