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Wednesday, 13 January 2016 14:41

PC shipments continue decline as vendors face more tough times Featured

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PC shipments continue decline as vendors face more tough times Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net/images

The business year in 2015 ended on a sour note for PC vendors, with global shipments of PCs declining by 8% over 2014, and there’s little comfort for vendors from the forecast for this year.

The latest preliminary report from market analyst firm Gartner reveals that in 2015 global PC shipments totalled 288.7 million units, with the fourth quarter recording shipments of 75.7 million, representing an 8.3 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2014.

And, things don’t look much better for vendors for 2016, with forecasts of another decline in the market. – albeit, smaller than the declines seen in 2015.

Gartner’s outlook for PC shipments in 2016 is for a decline of 1% compared with 2015, with the “potential for a soft recovery” late on the year.

According to principal analyst at Gartner, Mikako Kitagawa, the PC market is still in the middle of structural change which will reduce the PC installed base in the next few years.

“The fourth quarter of 2015 marked the fifth consecutive quarter of worldwide PC shipment decline,” said Kitagawa.

“Holiday sales did not boost the overall PC shipments, hinting at changes to consumers’ PC purchase behaviour. 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.

“All regions registered a decrease in shipments. Currency devaluation issues continued to impact EMEA, Latin America and Japan,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “Collectively EMEA, Japan and Latin America saw their markets reduced by nearly 10 percent in 2015.”

Gartner reports that in the fourth quarter of 2015, Lenovo registered a worldwide PC shipment decline for the third consecutive quarter. However, Lenovo declined less than the industry average, and it extended its lead in the market. Lenovo accounted for 20.3% of worldwide PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2015, doing particularly well in North America to offset shipment declines in EMEA, Latin America and Japan.

And, according to Gartner, HP’s fourth quarter PC shipments declined in the worldwide market and across all regions. The decline in the regions were mostly the same or better than the regional average except for the US market. The steep decline in the US market, says Gartner, was in part because of unusually high shipment volume in the fourth quarter of 2014, led by low-priced Bing notebooks targeting holiday sales.

Gartner also reports:

•    Dell’s PC shipments declined across all regions except Japan where the company grew by single digits compared to the fourth quarter of 2014. Although Dell’s shipments declined in EMEA and the US, Dell declined less than the regional averages

•    In the U.S., PC shipments totalled 16.9 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015, a 3.1% decline from the fourth quarter of 2014. Despite an 8.4% decline in shipments, HP maintained the No. 1 position in the US, accounting for 27.1% of PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2015. Dell continued to be the number 2 vendor in the US, as its shipments declined less than the industry average

•    PC shipments in EMEA totalled 22.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015, a decline of 16 percent year-over-year. In Western Europe, some countries, such as the UK, showed solid Windows 10 promotions during the holiday season, and shipments in the French market remained good. Overall high inventory levels plagued Western Europe. In Eastern Europe, the PC market experienced modest growth in low-single digits, driven by consumer demand for new hybrid devices and PC replacements to move to Windows 10.

•    The Asia Pacific from the fourth quarter of 2014. Buyers did not rush to replace with newer PC models with Windows 10. PC vendors looked for profitability over shipment volume, focusing on segments such as gaming PCs; bundling of desktops with large monitor screens and ultramobile device models. Preliminary results indicate that the China PC market declined 4.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared with a year ago

•    The top six vendors accounted for more of the overall PC market in 2015. These vendors accounted for 73.1 percent of shipments in 2015, up from 70.4 percent of shipments in 2014 (see Table 3). Lenovo maintained the number one position, accounting for 19.8 percent of PC shipments, followed by HP with 18.2 percent market share. Dell rounded out the top three vendors, accounting for 13.6 percent of shipments.

Kitagawa said that for the year, worldwide PC shipments declined for the fourth consecutive year, which started in 2012 with the launch of tablets.

“In 2015, local currency devaluation also played a key role in the market conditions. EMEA, Latin America and Japan faced a major impact from the devaluation, showing double-digit declines in 2015. In contrast, the U.S. and Asia/Pacific experienced minor declines of almost flat to low single-digit declines as the currency issue did not affect these regions.”

According to Kitagawa, holiday sales had a limited impact on PC sales in the U.S. market,” Kitagawa said.

“Notebooks were off the top wish list of holiday gifts. Unlike 2014 holiday sales, there were not many holiday mega deals for laptops, especially in value segments. At the same time, consumers’ interest shifted to other consumer electronics devices such as TV’s and wearables.”

Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q15 (Thousands of Units)


Company

4Q15 Shipments

4Q15 Market Share (%)

4Q14 Shipments

4Q14 Market Share (%)

4Q15-4Q14 Growth (%)

Lenovo

15,384

20.3

16,061

19.4

-4.2

HP

14,206

18.8

15,452

18.7

-8.1

Dell

10,236

13.5

10,783

13.1

-5.1

Asus

6,002

7.9

6,201

7.5

-3.2

Apple

5,675

7.5

5,519

6.7

2.8

Acer Group

5,277

7.0

5,939

7.2

-11.2

Others

18,940

25.0

22,635

27.4

-16.3

Total

75,720

100.0

82,590

100.0

-8.3

Notes: Data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs, and ultramobile premium. All data is estimated based on a preliminary study. Final estimates will be subject to change. The statistics are based on shipments selling into channels.
Source: Gartner (January 2016)

Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2015 (Thousands of Units)


Company

2015

Shipments

2015 Market

Share (%)

2014

Shipments

2014 Market Share (%)

2015-2014 Growth (%)

Lenovo

57,123

19.8

58,956

18.8

-3.1

HP

52,551

18.2

54,996

17.5

-4.4

Dell

39,159

13.6

40,499

12.9

-3.3

Asus

21,198

7.3

22,671

7.2

-6.5

Apple

20,741

7.2

19,598

6.2

5.8

Acer Group

20,340

7.0

24,015

7.7

-15.3

Others

77,624

26.9

92,945

29.6

19.7

Grand Total

288,735

100.0

313,681

100.0

-8.0

Notes: Data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs, and ultramobile premium. All data is estimated based on a preliminary study. Final estimates will be subject to change. The statistics are based on shipments selling into channels.
Source: Gartner (January 2016)


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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