Global PC market down to lowest level since 2008

IDC and Gartner record fewer than 300m PC shipments for 2015

Tags: DesktopsGartner Inc. (www.gartner.com/technology/home.jsp)IDC Middle East and AfricaMicrosoft Corporation
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Global PC market down to lowest level since 2008 Both research firms said that the holiday season did little to help the fledgling market (ITP Images)
By  Tom Paye Published  January 14, 2016

The global PC market saw a record year-on-year decline of 10.6% in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to the latest figures from research house IDC.

IDC said that the figures for the end of 2015 were in line with already conservative expectations, but the news nonetheless saw the market drop below 300m units sold for the year since 2015.

Gartner, another market research firm, said that the PC market declined by 8.3% year on year in the fourth quarter of 2015, but agreed with IDC that shipments had fallen below 300m units for the year. Both research firms said that the holiday season did little to help the fledgling market, and added that the release of Windows 10 only had a modest impact.

"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 organisations were just starting their testing period."

IDC said that, in 2015, the PC market continued to face persistent challenges from longer-PC lifecycles and competition from mobile phones and tablets, despite the slowing growth in those markets. It added that economic issues like falling commodity prices and weak international currencies, as well as social disruptions in EMEA and Asia/Pacific that disrupted foreign markets were a larger factor for 2015.

"The PC market remains competitive and the economic environment weakened further with the recent drop in the Chinese stock market," said Loren Loverde, IDC vice president, Worldwide PC Tracker.

Loverde, however, added that IDC expects the market to pick up slightly in 2016. The research house added that it hoped the recent drop would lead to a more stable future as vendors finish wrestling with consumers' newly formed upgrade cycles.

Gartner likewise predicted a more stable market in 2016, predicting a decline of 1% compared with 2015, with the potential for a soft recovery later in the year. Gartner's Kitagawa said that the PC market is still in the middle of a structural change, which will reduce the PC installed base over the next few years.

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