Research

PC Shipments Continue Decline Despite Growth in Mobile PC Segment

The global decline of PC shipments continued in the first quarter of 2015, totaling 71 million units, according to a new report from Gartner. That total represents a 5.2 percent drop compared to the first quarter of 2014.

"The PC industry received a boost in 2014 as many companies replaced their PCs due to the end of Windows XP support, but that replacement cycle faded in the first quarter of 2015," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, in a prepared statement. "However, this decline is not necessarily a sign of sluggish overall PC sales long term. Mobile PCs, including notebooks, hybrid and Windows tablets, grew compared with a year ago. The first quarter results support our projection of a moderate decline of PC shipments in 2015, which will lead to a slow, consistent growth stage for the next five years."

Only the two top PC vendors, Lenovo and HP, saw an increase in total shipments for the quarter as compared to the same period last year.

Lenovo, which led the market with about 13.6 million shipments and an 18.9 percent market share, saw the majority of its growth in the United States and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) while becoming a top seller of hybrid notebooks.

HP improved its market share from 16 percent in the first quarter of last year to 17.3 percent in the most recent quarter. The company moved just over 12.4 million devices and managed to beat out Lenovo in the U.S. and EMEA.

Third place company Dell maintained the same 12.6 percent market share it held in quarter 1 2014, but saw shipments drop by about a half million units, from slightly more than 9.5 million devices sold to just more than 9 million. The decline was Dell's first, as compared with a year previous, in six quarters.

Asus eked its way into fourth place by picking up .2 percent market share as compared to the first quarter of last year to end the most recent quarter with a 7.4 percent share.

Acer saw the largest decline in growth percentage of the top five vendors between the two quarters, but only saw its market share drop from 7.3 percent to 7.2 percent. Total shipments for the company in the first quarter of 2015 were 5.18 million.

In the U.S., the decline was less pronounced, dropping only 1.3 percent for the first quarter of 2015 as compared to the same period the year before. That modest drop, to 13.9 million units, is the first decline in the U.S. in four quarters.

HP Led the national market, improving its share from 24.9 percent to 26.1 percent on the strength of 3.6 million shipments.

Dell held on to second place despite being the only top five vendor to it's market share in the United States decline, dropping from 23.8 percent to 23.2 percent and moving 3.2 million units.

Apple sold 1.67 million units in the United States, good enough to improve its market share 1.1 points to an even 12 percent.

Lenovo only trailed Apple slightly, controlling 11.8 percent of the market and selling 1.64 million devices.

Asus rounded out the top five U.S. sellers with a 7.2 percent market share and nearly 1 million devices sold.

"The first quarter results are not a sign doom for the U.S. market," Kitagawa said in a news release. "The biggest reason for the decline of PC shipments in the U.S. was attributed to the desktop market, which experienced a double-digit decline. This was primarily due to the end of the Windows XP replacement cycle. In contrast, mobile PC shipments in the U.S. continued to show year-over-year growth, and early results show this segment could have grown approximately 10 percent in the first quarter of 2015."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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