PC Shipments Decline 11%

Limited consumer interest, testing of Windows 10, and competition from other hardware platforms are cutting into PC sales.
Katie Kuehner-HebertApril 12, 2016
PC Shipments Decline 11%

As expected, worldwide shipments of personal computers fell 11.5% to 60.6 million units in the first quarter, according to International Data Corp.’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

The Framingham, Mass.-based firm anticipates lower shipments for the first half of the year, as Windows 10 enterprise upgrades largely remain in pilot phase while consumer demand for PCs remains weak. Shipments have also been depressed by the volatility in stocks, commodities, and currencies.

However, industry reductions are “wrapping up,” and some rebound in economic conditions should support both future commercial and consumer sales, IDC said. Nevertheless, channels, vendors, and users remain cautious about new purchases. Overall, Asia/Pacific and EMEA performed slightly better than forecast, while the Americas pulled down worldwide results.

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“In the short term, the PC market must still grapple with limited consumer interest and competition from other infrastructure upgrades in the commercial market,” Jay Chou, IDC research manager, said in a press release. “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.”

PC shipments to the United States fell 5.8% to 13.6 million units in the first quarter due to softened demand on global economic concerns, the Windows 10 free upgrade path stalling some consumer PC purchases, and increased attrition towards detachables.

Said Linn Huang, IDC Research Director: “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 U.S. K-12, the PC market should experience a modest rebound in the coming months.”

Within the United States, Dell overtook HP for the first place ranking for the first time since the third quarter of 2009, ending a run of 25 consecutive quarters with HP at the top of the U.S. PC market. Dell’s U.S. PC shipments rose 4.2% year over year to 3.48 million, a 25.6% share. HP’s U.S. PC shipments fell 14.1% to 3.44 million units, a 25.3% share.