IDC: The Biggest Decline in PC Shipments in History

IDC PC Shipments 2015

IDC yesterday released its Quarterly PC Tracker report. According to them, worldwide PC shipments totaled 71.9 million units in 4Q15, a year-on-year decline of -10.6%. The year-on-year decline in 2015 shipments was the largest in history, surpassing the decline of -9.8% in 2013. Also, 2015 was the first year below 300 million units since 2008. Because of the positive reception and many innovative hardware from OEMs, IDC expects faster transition to Windows 10.

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. However, 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. Changes in the OS market also had a significant impact with the end of support for Windows XP and promotions of low-cost PCs driving a surge in replacements in 2014 that combined with the launch of Windows 10 and a free upgrade program to delay new system purchases in 2015. Lastly, while some very attractive new PCs have been launched, the market is taking some time to respond to new OS and hardware configurations – deciding when to upgrade and evaluating slim, convertible, detachable, and touch variations vs. more traditional PCs. Nevertheless, many of these products have received positive reviews and there’s potential for a faster commercial transition to Windows 10 in 2016 than we saw for prior versions of Windows.”

IDC expects PC market to grow in 2016 as commercial adoption of Windows 10 is expected to accelerate, and consumer buying should also stabilize by the second half of the year.

Most PC users have delayed an upgrade, but can only maintain this for so long before facing security and performance issues. We continue to believe that a majority of these users will purchase another PC, motivated by new products and attractive pricing.”

It is important to note that IDC does not include detachable PCs like Surface Pro devices in their numbers. If you include them, PC shipments year-on-year growth for 4Q15 saw a decline of about -5% and -7.5% for all of 2015.

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