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Declining PC sales persist through 3Q15

Posted: 12 Oct 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Gartner  IDC  PC  tablet  Windows 10 

Gartner has revealed that PC shipments plunged by 7.7 per cent in Q3 compared with 3Q14 while IDC pegged the decline at 10.8 per cent YoY. This is within the analysts' expectations, blaming weak PC shipments as a result of the currency exchange rates, with the appreciation of the U.S. dollar leading to an increase in global PC prices of about 10 per cent through the year.

The research firms also attributed the continued soft demand for PCs among enterprises and consumers as the reason for the dismal figures. As expected, the launch of Windows 10 had little impact on PC sales, largely because Microsoft is allowing users to upgrade their existing PCs to Windows 10 at no cost, unlike previous Windows OS rollouts.

Jay Chou, research manager for IDC's worldwide PC tracker, said the Q3 shipment contraction was expected, but that the firm remains optimistic about future shipments. "While PC shipments will be hampered in the short run by the availability of a free upgrade to Windows 10, the improved PC experience across user segments should drive longer-term demand for new PC hardware that is expected help stabilise the market in 2016 and beyond," Chou said.

Gartner said the 'silver lining' despite the grim Q3 shipment numbers was that its personal technology survey indicated that 50 per cent of consumers plan to buy a new PC within the next 12 months, compared with 21 per cent planning to buy a new tablet. The rise in tablets has been a primary reason for sluggish PC sales over the past several years. But tablet shipments are on the wane, and some analysts believe they have peaked.

"This change in consumer preferences toward PCs was visible in the preliminary data, as we saw positive growth in U.S notebook and premium ultramobile shipments," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

3Q15 PC shipments

Kitagawa predicted that a soft recovery in PC sales would begin in Q4 as more systems that have Windows 10 begin to appear. "In the meantime, PC manufacturers should adjust configurations for 2016 without the impact of price hikes seen in 2015, which will lead into more stable market conditions in the upcoming year," Kitagawa said.

Kitagawa added that the price increases impacted mostly PC sales in Europe, the Middle East, Japan and Latin America. Q3 PC sales in the U.S. and the Asia Pacific region were more stable, she said.

Lenovo remained the top PC vendor in Q3, with shipments, according to Gartner and IDC. While the firms estimated Lenovo's PC shipments declined four to five per cent in Q3, Lenovo nevertheless held 20 per cent to 21 per cent market share during the quarter, the research firms said.

- Dylan McGrath
  EE Times

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