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Two-In-Ones Buck Broader Trend Of PC Decline

Worldwide PC shipments (desktops, notebooks, two-in-one tablet-computers and tablets) were down 13 per cent year-on-year in the 2016 first quarter, according to Canalys, their lowest point since the 2011 second quarter, with two-in-ones standing out by bucking the broader trend.

Canalys found that shipments totalled 101 million units for the quarter, with Apple, despite falling 17 per cent, continuing to lead the market with shipments of just over 14 million units.

Lenovo, meanwhile, shipped some 25,000 units less than Apple, with its decline moving into double digits in the wake of weakening sales in Greater China.

canalysWith the exception of two-in-ones, which grew just over 13 per cent, shipments were weak across all categories, with tablets continuing to be the worst affected, with shipments falling around 15 per cent to just under 39 million units.

Canalys noted that all PC categories in the Asia Pacific continue to experience weakness, impacted by the smartphone market, which has seen improving quality and falling prices. Notebooks and tablets are no longer must-have products in low-income markets, while multiple device ownership is becoming less common.

PC shipments in the Asia Pacific and Greater China were down 14 per cent, with the Chinese market seeing its third consecutive quarter of double-digit declines.

Shipments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa were down 15 per cent, with notebooks 18 per cent lower than the previous year, while North America was the best performing region in the quarter, seeing PC shipments fall around 5 per cent.

The US tablet market was aided by shipments of large-screen detachable tablets, such as the iPad Pro and the Surface Pro 4, and Canalys expects shipments of two-in-ones and detachable tablets to continue to do well in the US and to grow in high-income markets, with new form factors triggering an increase in PC average selling prices, benefiting the two-in-one and tablet categories at the expense of notebooks.

“The global PC market had a bad start to 2016 and it is difficult to see any bright spots for vendors in the coming quarters,” Tim Coulling, Canalys senior analyst, commented

“The tablet boom has faded in the distance and the market is fully mature. Global shipments declines are expected to continue unless vendors bring transformational innovation to the market. Apple and Microsoft are propping up shipments in established markets with their detachables, but price points make them less affordable in low-income countries.

“Although other vendors are coming to market with cheaper alternatives, they are unlikely to have a big impact on volumes in the short term. The number of people looking to buy their first PC is at an all-time low, and 2016 is likely to bring yet more turmoil to global PC vendors.”

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