More gloom drifts across PC skies

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has slashed its PC shipments forecast for 2013, citing weak demand in all four corners of the globe.

In its latest research note the bank estimates that global PC shipments will drop nine percent to 317.8 million units in 2013.

Merrill Lynch beancounters had expected a four percent decrease this year.

Last week IDC published an equally alarming report, which estimated a 13 percent quarterly drop in PC shipments in Q1 2013. It was the most pessimistic report since the outfit started tracking PC shipments in 1994.

The BoA Merrill Lynch note is just more of the same. Analysts don’t see any strong growth catalysts in 2013, as the PC industry is still struggling to come up with new products that might reinvigorate the market. The lukewarm reception of Windows 8 is another factor contributing to the slump.

According to Focus Taiwan, the downturn has already had a massive impact on ODM shipments as well. Quanta and Pegatron reported abysmal shipments in Q1, while Compal managed to do a bit better, thanks to strong orders from Dell. Asus and Acer also did well, meeting their Q1 shipment projections thanks to strong tablet sales.

It is not all doom and gloom. BoA Merrill Lynch expects the PC market to rebound in the second half of the year. It also believes companies in touchscreen and display sectors, such as AO Optronics and Innolux, should do well in the first half of the year.