Gartner confirms big Q4 2015 decline in worldwide PC shipments

The market research firm Gartner has released some new PC shipment figures for the fourth quarter of 2015, and they aren’t pleasing. The firm said the PC shipments for the fourth quarter of 2015 amounted to 75.7 million units, an 8.3 percent decline compared to the same quarter in 2014. In total, manufacturers shipped 288.7 PCs in 2015, a decline of 8 percent when compared with the total shipments in 2014. The numbers are similar to a recently released IDC report, with similar bad news for PC manufacturers.

The most unfortunate aspect of the report for the industry is that holiday sales did not have a positive impact on shipments. Notebooks weren’t in the customers wish lists as they were focused more on wearables and other electronic devices.

“The fourth quarter of 2015 marked the fifth consecutive quarter of worldwide PC shipment decline,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “Holiday sales did not boost the overall PC shipments, hinting at changes to consumers’ PC purchase behavior. On the business side, Windows 10 generally received positive reviews, but as expected, Windows 10 migration was minor in the fourth quarter as many organizations were just starting their testing period.”

The shipments declined globally and in some regions, the currency valuation also created problems as things were apparently more expensive in some markets.

Most of the manufacturers saw a decline in the PC shipments. Lenovo currently leads the PC market with 20.3 percent market share, but they also reported a decline of 4.2 percent year-on-year — Lenovo declined less compared to the industry average. The Chinese company did quite well in North America to offset shipment declines in EMEA, Latin America and Japan.

HP currently resides on the second spot with over 14 million units shipped and a market share of 18.8 percent. Their shipments decline by a massive 8.1 percent compared to the same quarter in 2014. The third and fourth spot are captured by Dell and Asus, respectively, but they didn’t see any growth in the PC shipments either.

Surprisingly, things are different for Apple, which is the only manufacturer in the list to have seen a growth in its shipments. Apple’s market share is only 7.5 percent, but they can celebrate a little, thanks to the 2.8 percent rise in the PC shipments to 5.675 million units. Even with global 2015 shipments, Apple saw a 6.8 percent growth, totalling 20.7 million units.

The market in the US saw a decline of 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, totalling 16.9 million. HP leads the market in the US, but it still experienced an 8.1 percent decline compared to the same quarter in 2014, followed by Dell and Apple. Dell has seen a decline, but Apple reports a 6.5 percent increase, while Lenovo reports the best shipments in the US, gaining 21.1 percent in the US, with the PC shipments totalling 2.1 million units.

2015 wasn’t a bright year for PC vendors, but things are expected to become a little better in late 2016. The market research firm says the PC shipments will recover slightly, but it remains to be seen if Windows 10 (and increased business adoption of the new OS) and hybrids will help generate growth in PC shipments this year.

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What are your thoughts about the latest numbers from Gartner?