Apple blossoms as global PC market gets pulped in Q4 – Gartner

13 Jan 2016

An Apple Store in Hong Kong. Apple is the only top five computer maker in the world seeing its shipments grow, according to Gartner

It was another poor quarter for the PC market, with Apple the only personal computer maker in the global top five to see growth in the pivotal Q4, or holiday quarter, of 2015.

Gartner reported that worldwide PC shipments fell by 8.5pc to 75.7m units in Q4. For the full year of 2015, PC shipments totaled 288.7m, down 8pc on 2014.

The top five manufacturers were Lenovo (down 4.2pc), HP (down 8.1pc), Dell (down 5.1pc), Asus (down 3.2pc) and Apple (up 2.8pc). Apple CEO Tim Cook has pointed to how products like the Mac are bucking the general trend in computer buying and, during a visit to Ireland recently, he pointed to IBM research that showed the cost of owning a Mac is materially less than owning a PC.

“The fourth quarter of 2015 marked the fifth consecutive quarter of worldwide PC shipment decline,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

“Holiday sales did not boost the overall PC shipments, hinting at changes to consumers’ PC purchase behavior.

“On the business side, Windows 10 generally received positive reviews but, as expected, Windows 10 migration was minor in the fourth quarter as many organisations were just starting their testing period.”

“All regions registered a decrease in shipments. Currency devaluation issues continued to impact EMEA, Latin America and Japan.

“Collectively, EMEA, Japan and Latin America saw their markets reduced by nearly 10pc in 2015,” Kitagawa said.

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Gartner has predicted that, in 2016, as more Windows 10 migration takes place, the decline of PCs will slow to 1pc, with the potential for a soft recovery later in the year.

PC shipments in the US declined by 16.9m units or 3.1pc, while in EMEA shipments declined 16pc to 22.5m units.

Kitagawa said the entire industry is undergoing a structural change.

“Holiday sales had a limited impact on PC sales in the US market.

“Notebooks were off the top wish list of holiday gifts. Unlike 2014 holiday sales, there were not many holiday mega deals for laptops, especially in value segments. At the same time, consumers’ interest shifted to other consumer electronics devices such as TVs and wearables.”

Apple Store image via Shutterstock

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