According to preliminary results by Gartner, worldwide PC shipments declined for the eighth consecutive quarter. It totaled 68.9 million units in the third quarter of 2016, a 5.7 percent decline from the third quarter of 2015. In general, third quarter sales will be quite high because of back-to-school demand, but this time, the demand was weak.
“There are two fundamental issues that have impacted PC market results: the extension of the lifetime of the PC caused by the excess of consumer devices, and weak PC consumer demand in emerging markets,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “According to our 2016 personal technology survey, the majority of consumers own, and use, at least three different types of devices in mature markets. Among these devices, the PC is not a high priority device for the majority of consumers, so they do not feel the need to upgrade their PCs as often as they used to. Some may never decide to upgrade to a PC again.
With the respect to PC OEMs, Lenovo has recorded six consecutive quarters of year-over-year shipment declines, while the nearest competitors, HP Inc. and Dell, have recorded shipment growth since the second quarter of 2016.
“Mobile PCs, which include notebooks, two-in-one PCs and Windows tablets, showed low-single-digit year-over-year growth, but the overall results were offset by a decline of desktop shipments,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “Traditionally, the third quarter has been driven by back-to-school PC sales, but back-to-school marketing campaigns have become less effective for driving PC sales. With so many PCs already in the consumer market, U.S. consumers do not feel the need to buy new PCs; many parents hand down old PCs to their kids. While our PC shipment report does not include Chromebooks, our early indicator shows that Chromebooks exceeded PC shipment growth.”
Find the full report from Gartner here.