U.S. personal computer market to grow 2.3% annually over next five years

This should be great news for the Mac (and perhaps the Pad Pro) after this week’s WWDC announcements): the Daniel Research Group, a market research firm specializing in forecasting technology markets, predicts that the personal computer market (in which the firm includes tablets) will grow 2.3% annually over the next five years.

Three key causal factors will influence the total personal computing and communications market over the next five years; a mild economic slow-down in 2019-2020, an acceleration of tablet and desktop replacement rates, and the contraction of the tablet market.

While the Daniel Research Group expects desktop and mobile PC shipments to be slightly down this year (-0.8%) it anticipates healthy growth in 2018 (4.3%) before the economic slow-down moderates growth in 2019-2020 (1.6%, 1.9%), followed by a return to higher growth (4.6%) in 2020 as the economy recovers. Over the same period, mobile phones shipments will continue slow growth in line with historic rates, while tablets shipments will fall sharply losing share to mobile PCs and smartphones, adds the research group.

"The average age of the personal computing device installed base has reached a historic high,” says DRG President Stephen Daniel. “Newer models better meeting users expanding content delivery, capture, and creation needs will replace many of these PCs and tablets.  We expect replacement rates to accelerate for the next two years, flatten during the economic slow-down, and pick-up again in 2021." 

DRG's research results show an increasing preference by both consumer and enterprise users for traditional and convertible mobile PCs over detachable tablets, as well as a growing consumer preference for smartphones for content delivery. 
In the report, DRG contends that the device taxonomy used for the past 10 years - desktop PCs, mobile PCs, tablets and mobile phones - is outdated and no longer useful.  Instead, different categories, focused on location and primary purpose, more accurately reflect the natural segmentation of the United States Personal Device Market, adds the research group.