PC Sales Fall Again, But Windows 10 Could Offer Reprieve

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Worldwide PC shipments fall yet again as expected, according to IDC, but not all hope is lost for manufacturers

PC shipments fell yet again during the first quarter of 2016, this time by 11.5 percent year-on-year, according to figures from IDC.

The research firm said shipments reached 60.6 million and attributed the “expected” fall to a weak sales environment, low consumer demand and a lack of desire among enterprises to migrate to Windows 10 just yet.

The top 5 PC manufacturers all reported declines over the past three months.

Worldwide PC sales

watching video PCHowever experts said not everything was doom and gloom, and suggested that channel inventory reductions were slowing and that the economic climate was improving. Indeed, experts noted that the Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions performed better than expected.

Windows 10, which has been blamed previously for causing people to delay upgrades, is one of the reasons for optimism.

“In the short term, the PC market must still grapple with limited consumer interest and competition from other infrastructure upgrades in the commercial market,” said Jay Chou, research manager for IDC’s Worldwide PC Tracker.

“Nevertheless, IDC still projects total business IT spending to grow compared to 2015, and as we head toward the end of 2016 things should start picking up in terms of Windows 10 pilots turning into actual PC purchases.”

Lenovo remains the world’s biggest manufacturer, shifting 12.2 million units and commanding a share of 19.4 percent of the worldwide market – despite shipments falling by 8.5 percent year on year.

HP Inc is at number two, shipping 11.6 million units – a fall of 10.8 percent – and has a 19.2 percent share of the market. Dell is third with 9 million units, down by a modest 2 percent, and 15 percent of the market, while Apple shipped 4.7 million Macs, a decline of 2.1 percent, but still enough for a 7.4 percent share. Asus props up the top five with 4.4 million PCs, a decline of 8.3 percent, and controls 7.2 percent of the sector.

In the US, Dell toppled HP as the biggest manufacturer – ending the latter’s reign of 25 consecutive quarters dating back to 2009. However, demand for PCs in the US remain low, even by worldwide standards.

“Demand for PCs in the U.S. remains sluggish,” said IDC Research Director, Devices & Displays, Linn Huang. “However, we should be entering a period of reprieve. Peak corporate and education buying seasons have historically started in the second quarter.

“With some IT buyers thinking about early Windows 10 transitions and with the potential continued ascent of Chromebooks in [US education], the PC market should experience a modest rebound in the coming months.”

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