Lenovo once again held off the challenge of HP as the leading PC manufacturer on the planet, but done so in a declining market as shipments continued to fall.
Worldwide PC shipments totalled 75.7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015, a 8.3 per cent decline from the fourth quarter of 2014, according to preliminary results by Gartner.
For the year, the analyst firm claims 2015 PC shipments totalled 288.7 million units, an eight per cent decline from 2014.
“The fourth quarter of 2015 marked the fifth consecutive quarter of worldwide PC shipment decline,” says Mikako Kitagawa, Principal Analyst, Gartner.
“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.”
Gartner findings show that all regions registered a decrease in shipments with currency devaluation issues continuing to impact EMEA, Latin America and Japan in particular.
Going forward, Gartner’s outlook for PC shipments in 2016 is for a decline of one percent compared with 2015, with the potential for a soft recovery in late 2016.
Kitagawa believes the PC market is still in the middle of structural change which will reduce the PC installed base in the next few years.
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, accounting for 20.3 per cent of worldwide PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2015.
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 U.S. market.
The steep decline in the U.S. market was in part because of unusually high shipment volume in the fourth quarter of 2014, led by low-priced Bing notebooks targeting holiday sales.
In addition, 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 U.S., 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 per cent decline from the fourth quarter of 2014.
Despite an 8.4 pe rcent decline in shipments, HP maintained the no. 1 position in the US, accounting for 27.1 per cent of PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Meanwhile, Dell continued to be the number 2 vendor in the US, as its shipments declined less than the industry average.
“Holiday sales had a limited impact on PC sales in the US market,” Kitagawa adds.
“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.”
The Asia/Pacific PC market reached 26 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015, a 1.5 per cent decline from the fourth quarter of 2014.
Buyers did not rush to replace with newer PC models with Windows 10 however, meaning that PC vendors looked for profitability over shipment volume, focusing on segments such as gaming PCs; bundling of desktops with large monitor screens and ultra-mobile device models.
Preliminary results indicate that the China PC market declined 4.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared with a year ago.
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,” Kitagawa adds.
“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.”
The top six vendor accounted for more of the overall PC market in 2015.
These vendors accounted for 73.1 per cent of shipments in 2015, up from 70.4 per cent of shipments in 2014.
Lenovo maintained the number one position, accounting for 19.8 percent of PC shipments, followed by HP with 18.2 per cent market share. Dell rounded out the top three vendors, accounting for 13.6 per cent of shipments.