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PC Sales Slide In Q1 But Outlook Positive

PC Sales Slide In Q1 But Outlook PositivePreliminary results from Gartner show worldwide PC shipments declined 5.2 per cent year-on-year in the 2015 first quarter, totalling 71.7 million units.

Meanwhile, a separate report from the International Data Corporation (IDC) has found shipments declined 6.7 per cent year-on-year, totalling 68.5 million units, the lowest recorded volume since the 2009 first quarter.

The first quarter results follow the PC industry receiving a boost in 2014 due to the end of Windows XP support, with many companies replacing their XP PCs, however the replacement cycle has now faded, Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa commented.

Kitagawa, however, noted the 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,” she commented. “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.”

Among the different segments of the market, Kitagawa noted business desktop PCs were impacted the most amid the decline in desktop shipments.

“Mobile PCs are being driven by a separate underlying replacement cycle, which led mobile growth in the first quarter,” Kitagawa commented. “PC replacements will be driven by thin and light notebooks with tablet functionality. Our early study suggests strong growth of hybrid notebooks, especially in mature markets, in 1Q15.”

Gartner figures show Lenovo and HP remained the top two vendors worldwide, and were both the only vendors among the top five to post year-on-year growth.

Lenovo commanded an 18.9 per cent share of the market, posting growth of 5.7 per cent, with HP capturing 17.3 per cent, growing 2.5 per cent.

The top five was rounded out by Dell (12.6 per cent market share, declining 5.1 per cent), Asus (7.4 per cent market share, declining 2.9 per cent) and Acer (7.2 per cent market share, declining 6.8 per cent).

The IDC, meanwhile, expects the release of Windows 10 to bolster the PC market.

“The upcoming launch of Windows 10 will consolidate the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1,” commented Rajani Singh, IDC senior research analyst, personal computing.

“In addition to the free upgrade for consumers for a year after the release, Windows 10 should be a net positive as there is pent-up demand for replacements of older PCs. Only part of the installed base needs to replace systems to keep the overall growth rate above zero for rest of the year.”