Global PC Shipments Fall for Fifth Year in a Row: Gartner

13 Jan

Global PC shipments reached 72.6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2016, a 3.7 percent annual decline, according to preliminary results by Gartner. For the year 2016, PC shipments totaled 269.7 million units, a 6.2 percent decline from 2015. PC shipments have fallen year-on-year since 2012.

“Stagnation in the PC market continued into the fourth quarter of 2016 as holiday sales were generally weak due to the fundamental change in PC buying behavior,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “The broad PC market has been static as technology improvements have not been sufficient to drive real market growth.”

While the overall PC market will flag, there are growth opportunities within the market, Kitagawa noted, such as the engaged PC user market, the business market and gaming. Yet these growth areas will not prevent the overall decline of the PC market, at least in the next year.

Four of the top six vendors saw an increase in global PC shipments in the quarter ended December 2016. The top three vendors all increased their global market share in the fourth quarter. Lenovo held the No. 1 spot. HP remained at No. 2, and it has recorded three consecutive quarters of shipment growth. Dell also registered three consecutive quarters of shipment growth in 4Q16. Dell continued to place PCs as a strategic business segment in commercial and consumer markets during 2016.

Asus suffered the steepest decline among the top six vendors in the fourth quarter of 2016. Asus has been shifting its PC strategy more toward the high-end market, which will allow it to maintain better profit margins. Gartner analysts said the falling shipment volume could be the cause of this strategy shift.

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