PC shipments slump in Q3, thanks to free Windows 10

Businesses are spending on mobile transformations, not boring old computers


The world's personal computer factories could only shove just over 70 million machines out the door during 2015's third quarter, according to box-watchers IDC and Gartner.

IDC says sales were down 10.8 per cent year on year, a worse outcome than the 9.2 per cent dip the firm previously predicted.

Windows 10 is partly to blame, says Jay Chou, IDC's research manager for its Worldwide PC Tracker, because punters are happy to take Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade without buying a new PC.

Over time, Chou reckons, “the improved PC experience across user segments should drive longer-term demand for new PC hardware that is expected help stabilize the market in 2016 and beyond." Intel's Skylake processors will help future sales, too, IDC says.

Gartner concurs, arguing that Windows 10's advent was never going to produce a PC sales spike, but adding that the appreciation of the US dollar hasn't helped matters by making PCs more expensive beyond the land of the free.

In the future, however, the firm's research indicates that “50 percent of consumers expressed intention to purchase a PC in the next 12 months, compared with 21 percent for tablet purchase intention.”

Business buyers may not be as ready to refresh their PC fleets, as IDC says “IT budgets remained focused on other projects including mobile-readiness and digital transformation initiatives.”

Here's IDC's tale of the tape for the quarter.

Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide PC Shipments, Third Quarter 2015 (Preliminary) (Shipments are in thousands of units)

Vendor

3Q15 Shipments

3Q15 Market Share

3Q14 Shipments

3Q14 Market Share

3Q15/3Q14 Growth

1. Lenovo

14,937

21.0%

15,699

19.7%

-4.9%

2. HP

13,905

19.6%

14,715

18.5%

-5.5%

3. Dell

10,120

14.3%

10,425

13.1%

-2.9%

4. Apple

5,324

7.5%

5,514

6.9%

-3.4%

5. Acer Group

4,997

7.0%

6,746

8.5%

-25.9%

Others

21,693

30.6%

26,459

33.3%

-18.0%

Total

70,976

100.0%

79,558

100.0%

-10.8%


Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, October 8, 2015

And here's Gartner's table.

Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q15 (Thousands of Units)


Company

3Q15 Shipments

3Q15 Market Share (%)

3Q14 Shipments

3Q14 Market Share (%)

3Q15-3Q14 Growth (%)

Lenovo

14,995

20.3

15,623

19.6

-4.0

HP

13,658

18.5

14,226

17.8

-4.0

Dell

10,160

13.8

10,106

12.7

0.5

Apple

5,603

7.6

5,521

6.9

1.5

Acer Group

5,448

7.4

6,804

8.5

-19.9

Asus

5,233

7.1

5,824

7.3

-10.1

Others

18,630

25.3

21,737

27.2

-14.3

Total

73,728

100.0

79,842

100.0

-7.7

Both analyst firms clearly think Acer is in rather a lot of trouble. So are “others”, which are in steep decline.

Gartner notes that sales slowed least for premium and ultramobile PCs, like Apple's MacBook Air and Microsoft's Surface devices. Good thing Microsoft just launched some new ones, eh? ®

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