Global PC sales in the longest period of decline in history

Gartner has reported an eighth consecutive quarter of decline in PC sales.

The research firm has found that shipments of desktops, laptops, and ultra-mobile “premiums” like Microsoft’s Surface declined 5.7 per cent in the third quarter of 2016. This global number shows that sales have continuously decreased over the last eight quarters, the longest duration of decline in the history of the PC.

In terms of the state of market, Lenovo moved up to first place and holds a 20.9 per cent market share (down 2.4 per cent from this time last year). HP fell into second with a 20.4 per cent share, followed by Dell (14.7 per cent), Asus (7.8 per cent), Apple (7.2 per cent) and Acer (6.7 per cent). Apple and Acer saw a big drop, losing 13.4 per cent and 16.2 per cent respectively. By contrast, HP Dell and Asus all gained over 2.3 per cent. 

The Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) market saw 19.2 million unis sold with a 3.3 per cent decline, considerably worse than the United State’s 0.3 per cent decline (16.2 million units sold).

“The stabilisation of the PC business market was a key factor for HP Inc.’s shipment growth, as a majority of its revenue was generated from the business segment,” Gartner said on Tuesday. “Dell’s shipment growth exceeded the regional average in most regions.”

This quarter is usually one with lots of activity thanks to the back to school season, but Gartner has said that campaigns targeting students have become less effective. The report also claims that the consumer PC market is oversaturated, leading customers to be less inclined to purchase new units. Part of the reason for this is the possibility of parents handing down older devices to their children or opting for Chromebooks instead of PCs.

This report is only based on preliminary findings, but the full set of numbers will be provided with the organisation’s PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region program.

Whether this can be taken as conclusive evidence of the PC’s decline might be conjecture, but the report is a sign that the PC industry is not in the healthiest of states.

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