PC shipments declined almost 7pc in the first quarter of 2015

10 Apr 2015

Global PC shipments in the first quarter of 2015 fell by 6.7pc, with a total of 68.5m computers shipped.

According to IDC, following a strong second half of 2014, which benefitted from the tailwind of the Windows XP refresh and pockets of price-driven consumer activity, the Q1 market faced multiple headwinds.

This included inventory build-up of Windows Bing based notebooks, commercial slowdown following the XP refresh and constrained demand in many regions due to currency fluctuations and unfavorable economic indicators.

As a result, growth and volume declined, with Q1 shipments at less than 69 million units, the lowest recorded volume since Q1 2009.

“Despite the decline, PC shipment in the United States declined at a slower rate than all other regions in the first quarter, outperforming worldwide trends for the eleventh consecutive quarter,” said Rajani Singh, senior research analyst for Personal Computing at IDC.

“The strength from key vendors, adoption of emerging products, improvements in the consumer market and in the broader economy are all positive signals

“The upcoming launch of Windows 10 will consolidate the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. 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.”

How the various PC vendors performed

Lenovo held onto the top position with 13.4m units, and grew 3.4pc. The vendor continued to aggressively court expansion outside of Asia, especially closing the gap with competition in EMEA. The company also moved ahead of Apple to capture the third position in the U.S.

“PCs remain at the heart of our business, delivering 65pc of our revenue and record pre-tax income last quarter of almost US$500m,” said Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO, Lenovo.

“Given industry consolidation, Lenovo’s consistent focus on innovation and delivering award-winning PCs, and our ongoing momentum, we are confident that PCs will continue to be a great engine of strong, profitable growth.”

HP remained in the number two position, shipping nearly 13m PCs with growth surpassing 3pc, driven primarily by resilient growth in US and EMEA. Although growth slowed from earlier in the year, HP & Lenovo continued to outpace the market and their nearest competitors.

Dell came in at the number three position, shipping more than 9.2 million units, registering a year-over-year decline of 6.3pc, its first negative quarter since  Q2 of 2013. Strong results in the US and EMEA in Q1 2014 contributed to a poor year-over-year comparison.

Acer continued to see good acceptance of its Chrome offerings, Acer shipments slowed in the first quarter – particularly in EMEA where it had seen a strong rebound in mid-2014 but faced pressure from other market leaders in the fourth quarter.

ASUS had a solid quarter with worldwide volume of 4.8m and growth of 4.4pc, supported by growth in Asia. This brought the company just behind Acer – effectively a tie for fourth place.

PC market image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years