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Light at the end of the tunnel as PC shipments continue 2015 slide

Light at the end of the tunnel as PC shipments continue 2015 slide

“After the XP impact was phased out, there have not been any major growth drivers to stimulate a PC refresh."

Worldwide PC shipments totalled 68.4 million units in the second quarter of 2015, a 9.5 per cent decline from the second quarter of 2014.

According to preliminary results by Gartner, this was the steepest PC shipment decline since the third quarter of 2013 with PC shipments projected to decline 4.4 per cent in 2015.

There were many contributors to the decline of PC shipments in the second quarter of 2015, and Gartner analysts highlighted three of the major reasons for the drop in shipments.

Analysts emphasised that these inhibitors are temporary events, and they are not changing the PC market's structure.

Therefore, while the PC industry is going through a decline, the market is expected to go back to slow and steady growth in 2016.

“The price hike of PCs became more apparent in some regions due to a sharp appreciation of the U.S. dollar against local currencies," says Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

“The price hike could hinder PC demand in these regions.

"Secondly, the worldwide PC market experienced unusually positive desk-based growth last year due to the end of Windows XP support.

“After the XP impact was phased out, there have not been any major growth drivers to stimulate a PC refresh.

“Lastly, the Windows 10 launch scheduled for 3Q15 has created self-regulated inventory control. PC vendors and the channels tried clearing inventory as much as possible before the Windows 10 launch.”

Lenovo maintained the top position in worldwide PC shipments in the second quarter of 2015, but the company suffered a year-on-year shipment decline for the first time since the second quarter of 2013.

EMEA, Latin America and Japan were tough regions for Lenovo, as the company experienced double-digit shipment declines.

HP also experienced a shipment decline after five consecutive quarters of PC shipment growth.

HP showed a steep decline in EMEA, which was potentially due to the currency impact. The company was also impacted by tight inventory controls in the consumer market before the Windows 10 launch.

For the second consecutive quarter, Dell experienced a decline in PC shipments. Dell's decline was relatively moderate in EMEA compared with Lenovo and HP.

Analysts said this could be partly attributed to Dell's lower presence in the consumer market, which created less impact to Dell from the Windows 10 prelaunch inventory control.

In the U.S., PC shipments totaled 15.1 million units in the second quarter of 2015, a 5.8 percent decline from the second quarter of 2014.

The decline was led by a double-digit decline of desk-based shipments, which offset single-digit growth of mobile PCs. Based on preliminary results, the desk-based PC shipment decline was the steepest since 2009 when the market was hit by the economic crisis.

“The weakness of desk-based PC shipments in the second quarter of 2015 is partly due to relatively large shipments in the second quarter last year when the market was driven by the end of XP support,” Kitagawa adds.

“Despite inventory controls for the Windows 10 launch, mobile PC shipments grew in the quarter, which resulted in five consecutive quarters of mobile PC growth in the U.S.

“Affordable thin/light notebooks are attracting more business buyers.”

HP maintained the top position for PC shipments in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2015 despite a 10.1 percent decline.

Dell narrowed the gap with HP compared with a year ago. Lenovo was the only vendor showing year-over-year PC shipment growth among the top five vendors in the U.S.

Asia/Pacific PC shipments reached 24.2 million units in the second quarter of 2015, a 2.9 per cent decline from the same period last year.

Both desk-based and mobile PC shipments declined from the second quarter of 2014. PC shipments in China are estimated to have declined 4 per cent in the quarter as demand for consumer PCs remained weak.

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