A report by the Daniel Research Group predicts total PCs and tablets per user will peak in 2019. According to the market research firm’s United States Personal Device 2018-2022 Forecast 2017 Q4 Updated Report, three causal factors will influence the total personal computing and communications market over the next five years:
- Decrease in devices per user starting in 2019
- Structural changes in the U.S. economy that will reduce the growth in number of buyers and users
- Consolidation of devices and device form factors in both the consumer and enterprise sectors
Devices per user increasing
Density (Devices per User) has been increasing since the introduction of the desktop PC in 1975, crossing one device per user in 2015, and continuing to increase for the last two years. An analysis of causal factors and trends concludes that density will peak at 1.13 units per user in 2019 and then begin to decline. There are several causal factors supporting this conclusion:
- Functional Duplication — Users abhor duplications and will reduce the number of device used in order to reduce costs and save time.
- Merging Form Factors — Convertible mobile PCs and detachable tablets provide the same basic functionality, as do slate tablets and larger form factor smartphones
- Changes in User Behavior and Preferences — User preference for content delivery is in a state of flux and is evolving into new segmentation categories across multiple platforms.
- IoT — Many devices used primarily for content capture and control are being replaced with IoT embedded scanning or voice controlled devices.
Undergoing structural reorganization
The U.S. economy is undergoing a structural reorganization: as the percentage of employees working in small and mid-sized firms is decreasing the percentage in larger firms is increasing. This migration is also reflected in the number of active firms. The research firm’s economic model forecasts that between 2019 and 2022 there will be a loss of 25,000 firms in the 5 to 499 size classes.
While the enterprise demand for personal computing and communications devices is ultimately a function employment levels, the enterprise buying decision-making unit is the business. As such, these trends in the economy will reduce the growth if not the actual number of businesses, according to the Daniel Research Group.
Mobile computing devices as a percent of total computing devices have increased at a predictable rate since the introduction of the Mobile PC in 1992 and will continue to increase from 77.6% of installed devices in 2017 to 82.4% by 2022. Since market penetration in both the Consumer and Enterprise sectors are effectively at maximum penetration the increase will be entirely driven by increases in density.
“Detachable tablets and convertible mobile PCs provide the same basic functionality and will merge into one form factor — hybrid PCs,” states Stephen Daniel, president of the Daniel Research Group. “Hybrid PCs accounted for 12.2% of unit shipments and 6.3% if the Installed Base of Personal Computing Devices in 2017. By 2022 Hybrid PCs will account for 38.3% of unit shipments and 17.4% of the Installed Base Personal Computing Devices.”
To view the report, go here.