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​PC market sinks to 2011 levels as tablets tumble in tandem

​PC market sinks to 2011 levels as tablets tumble in tandem

“The global PC market had a bad start to 2016 and it is difficult to see any bright spots for vendors in the coming quarters."

Worldwide PC shipments, including desktops, notebooks, two-in-ones and tablets, totalled 101 million units in Q1 2016, as total volumes dipped by 13 percent year-on-year to their lowest point since Q2 2011.

Unsurprisingly, Apple continued to lead the market into the first quarter of 2016 with shipments of just over 14 million units, despite falling 17 percent.

Meanwhile, Lenovo shipped some 25,000 units less than Apple, as its decline moved into double digits on the back of weakening sales in Greater China.

Apart from two-in-ones, which grew just over 13 percent, shipments were weak across all categories, as vendors struggle with declines in global PC demand.

Across the market, tablets continue to be the worst affected category, with shipments falling around 15 percent to just under 39 million units.

“The global PC market had a bad start to 2016 and it is difficult to see any bright spots for vendors in the coming quarters,” Canalys Senior Analyst, Tim Coulling, said.

“The tablet boom has faded in the distance and the market is fully mature. Global shipments declines are expected to continue unless vendors bring transformational innovation to the market.

“Apple and Microsoft are propping up shipments in established markets with their detachables, but price points make them less affordable in low-income countries.”

Although other vendors are coming to market with cheaper alternatives, Coulling said they are unlikely to have a big impact on volumes in the short term.

“The number of people looking to buy their first PC is at an all-time low and 2016 is likely to bring yet more turmoil to global PC vendors,” he added.

Regionally speaking, all PC categories in Asia Pacific continue to experience weakness, affected by improving quality and falling prices in the smart phone market.

In low-income markets, notebooks and tablets are no longer must-have products and multiple device ownership is becoming less common.

As such, PC shipments in Asia Pacific and Greater China dipped 14 percent as the Chinese market saw its third consecutive quarter of double-digit declines.

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