Recent reports coming in from both Gartner and IDC point towards another depressing quarter as far as PC sales are concerned, as vendors hoping for an upward slope in this quarter’s sale curve are disappointed yet again.
And if Gartner’s predictions are to be believed, it will be some time before the market manages to start moving North again.
As per Gartner‘s report, companies the world over sold a total of 75.7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015, a 8.3 percent decline as compared to the fourth quarter of 2014. The total number of units sold in the year meanwhile, stood at 288.7 million units, again, a decline of 8 percent from 2014. Meanwhile, IDC’s reports are a tad more conservative — or is it depressing? — and put the total number of units sold to 71.9 million units in the fourth quarter, a drop of over 10 percent.
Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, attributes this decline to a change in the consumer’s PC purchase behaviour.
The fourth quarter of 2015 marked the fifth consecutive quarter of worldwide PC shipment decline, Holiday sales did not boost the overall PC shipments, hinting at changes to consumers’ PC purchase behaviour.
Currency had a pretty significant role to play in this slump too, she added.
All regions registered a decrease in shipments. Currency devaluation issues continued to impact EMEA, Latin America and Japan,
(EMEA: Europe, Middle East, and Africa)
Ironically, improved technology leading to longer-PC life cycles and competition from mobile phones and tablets, were also responsible for the current, sad state of affairs in no small measure. The EMEA region along with Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) saw a particular year-over-year decline in PC sales while Japan and the US, albeit adversely affected, were responsible for much of the growth.
Both IDC and Gartner are however unanimous in one thing — Apple has been doing well, and in fact, was the only company among the top vendors — Lenovo, HP, Dell, Asus — that experienced an increase in PC shipments. The firms differ widely on their opinions upon Acer’s performance though, with Gartner pinpointing it as having lost the most market share while IDC, shows it as having grown by around 3 percent.
And thus ends the fifth consecutive quarter with negative marks for PC vendors. The situation is not expected to improve any time soon, although both IDC and Gartner are hopeful of a market recovery near 2016 end — An event which may see the newly released Windows 10 play a key role.
Windows 10 didn’t really leave much of an impact in the 4th quarter despite positive reviews.
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.
However, the situation is expected to change in 2016, as the latest platform comes into the limelight.
As per IDC vice president Loren Loverde,
PC replacements should pick up again in 2016, particularly later in the year. Commercial adoption of Windows 10 is expected to accelerate, and consumer buying should also stabilize by the second half of the year.
Well, lets hope that the dismal, 5-quarter spanning cycle breaks soon. Meanwhile, a sudden technological breakthrough in computing may just be what is needed to breathe back life into the market. Or maybe, that is just wishful thinking on my part — the part that just cant wait for quantum computers, ha ha.
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