PC, tablet and notebook sales plunge 13pc in Q1 – report

10 May 2016

Sales of PCs across all categories plunged in the first quarter of 2016, with notebooks being the worst affected category

Sales of personal computing devices, including notebooks, all-in-ones and tablet computers, have plunged 13pc in the first quarter of 2016, Canalys has reported.

Sales of personal computing devices were weak across all categories and hit their lowest point since the second quarter of 2011.

Apple continued to lead the market into the first quarter of 2016 with shipments of more than 14m units, despite if suffering a fall in sales of 17pc.

Lenovo shipped some 25,000 units less than Apple, as its decline moved into double digits on the back of weakening sales in China.

Bitter pill as tablet boom ends


Tablets continue to be the worst-affected category, with shipments falling around 15pc to just under 39m units.

“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,” said Canalys senior analyst Tim Coulling.

“The tablet boom has faded in the distance and the market is fully mature. Global shipment 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,” Coulling added.

PC market in free fall

Canalys reported shipments in EMEA declined 15pc, as notebooks were 18pc lower than the previous year.

It is predicted that EMEA will continue to struggle due to a challenging macro environment next quarter. Meanwhile, North America was the best-performing region in the quarter, with PC shipments falling around 5pc.

The tablet market in the US was aided by shipments of large-screen detachable tablets, such as the iPad Pro and the Surface Pro 4.

Shipments of two-in-ones and detachable tablets are expected to continue to do well in the US and will grow in high-income markets at the expense of notebooks.

PC market decline image via Shutterstock

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