Windows PC’s Days Are Numbered, Says Researcher

Posted by · March 29, 2012 11:13 am

The end of the age of the Windows PC is closer than you think, suggests market researcher IDC. According to a new report, the Windows-Intel PC will encounter a devastating dip come the year 2016, losing considerable ground to Android and Apple’s iOS.

IDC suggested that such a “dramatic shift” was poised to send the Windows-Intel PC’s 2011 market share of 35.9 percent to a much less dominant 25.1 percent in 2016.

Consistent with the popular discussion of ushering consumers into a so-called post-PC era, the researcher argues that smartphones and tablets from both Android and Apple will be the primary devices that make up for the lost market share. IDC VP Bob O’Donnell pointed out the “increasingly important role” these devices are playing—and will continue to play—in consumer lives going forward.

The report suggests that Android devices increase its 2011 share of 29.4 percent to a leading share of 31.1 percent. Meanwhile, Apple devices will get a nearly three percent bump—moving from 14.6 percent in 2011 to 17.3 percent in 2016.

(Credit: IDC)

Perhaps the most impressive statistic IDC gave, however, was the raw number of smart devices that will likely ship in 2016. While approximately 1.1 billion of tablets and smartphones are set to be shipped across the globe this year, that number is expected to surge to 1.84 billion come 2016—more than twice the number of devices shipped in 2011.

However, IDC does mention a couple words of warning to Android, who is currently expected to take the lead.

Recognizing the key of Android’s success as being significantly tied to its comparatively low-price devices, IDC research director Tom Mainelli suggests, “[W]hile we expect dozens of hardware vendors to own some share in the Android market, many will find profitability difficult to sustain.”

Meanwhile, the number of developers likely to focus on iOS, suggests IDC, is likely to continue increasing considering their willingness to pay more for valuable apps.

What do you make of IDC’s conclusions? Is Windows destined to fade from the scene as the post-PC era begins?