Q1 PC shipments beat projections, but still lowest in six years

First quarter sees snapback from strong, XP-driven 2014

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Q1 PC shipments beat projections, but still lowest in six years (ITP Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  April 12, 2015

Worldwide PC shipments stood at 68.5m units in the first quarter of 2015, a year-on-year decline of 6.7% and the lowest level in six years, but slightly better than projections, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

The research firm reported Q1 findings from its Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, noting that the downturn followed a "strong second half of 2014", driven by upgrades from Windows XP, for which Microsoft had discontinued support.

In contrast, the Q1 climate included "multiple headwinds", including overstock of Windows Bing notebooks; a natural lull in the wake of the XP refresh; and pressure in some territories from currency fluctuations and "unfavourable economic indicators".

Q1 shipments were the lowest since Q1 2009.

"Despite the decline, PC shipments in the United States declined at a slower rate than all other regions in first quarter, outperforming worldwide trends for the 11th consecutive quarter," said Rajani Singh, senior research analyst, Personal Computing, IDC.

"The strength from key vendors, adoption of emerging products, improvements in the consumer market and in the broader economy are all positive signals. The upcoming launch of Windows 10 will consolidate the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. In addition to the free upgrade for consumers for a year after the release, Windows 10 should be a net positive as there is pent-up demand for replacements of older PCs. Only part of the installed base needs to replace systems to keep the overall growth rate above zero for rest of the year."

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