Worldwide PC shipments have declined for the fifth year running, enthusiast market still robust: Report

Gartner’s latest report on worldwide PC shipments once again suggests that PC shipments have declined. The PC market has been witnessing a steady decline in shipments for about 5 years running now.

The report says that worldwide shipments totalled 269.7 million units in 2016, which is down by 6.2 percent since 2015. Fourth quarter shipments also fell by 3.7 percent compared to Q3 2016.

"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.


Source: Gartner

Kitagawa adds that high-end/enthusiast users are still purchasing PCs and that this segment of the market is growing fast. She, however, adds that growth in one segment alone isn’t enough to prop up the rest of the market.

She sees growth in areas such as engaged PC users, the business market and gaming, but reiterates that the overall market will decline.

The top 5 PC vendors include Lenovo, HP, Dell, Asus and Apple, with Lenovo leading the charge. Barring Asus, the rest of the top 5 have posted a growth in their sales. The remaining vendors saw a decline.

The report suggests that Asus’ failing market share may have little to do with the company’s profitability as it is focussing more on the high-margin, high-end market than on the mainstream one.

Gartner points out that the PC is no longer an item that people “want”, rather, it’s an item that people “need”. As a result, holiday sales are reportedly having no effect on the declining market.

On a side note, the advances in CPU performance have come to a virtual standstill in recent years. Desktops made in 2012 are still competitive with desktops available in 2016. The only progress that has been made is along the lines of efficiency and integrated graphics.

Published Date: Jan 12, 2017 01:40 pm | Updated Date: Jan 12, 2017 01:40 pm