On the one hand, worldwide PC shipments dropped by 6.7 per cent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2015, but on the other hand that’s not as bad a decline as IDC Corp. had projected.

According to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker for Q1, 68.5 million PCs were shipped globally, a decline of 6.7 per cent. It’s the lowest recorded volume since Q1 of 2009, and comes after a strong second half of 2014 for PC shipments fuelled by the end of the Windows XP refresh activity and strong consumer activity. In Q1, IDC said an inventory build-up of Windows Bing-based notebooks, a slowing commercial refresh market with the XP demand largely addressed, and currency fluctuations impacting pricing all contributed to a decline in shipments.

“Despite the decline, PC shipment in the United States declined at a slower rate than all other regions in first quarter, outperforming worldwide trends for the eleventh consecutive quarter. The strength from key vendors, adoption of emerging products, improvements in the consumer market and in the broader economy are all positive signals,” said Rajani Singh, IDC’s senior research analyst for personal computing, in a statement. “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.”

“Although shipments did exceed an already cautious forecast, the market unfortunately remains heavily dependent on pricing being a major driver, with entry SKU volume masking a still tenuous demand for higher priced systems that is needed to sustain a more diverse PC ecosystem. Pricing pressure is bringing many premium SKUs into formerly mid-level pricing tiers,” said Jay Chou, senior research analyst for IDC Worldwide PC Trackers, in a statement. “As more vendors find it increasingly difficult to compete, we can expect additional consolidation in the PC market.”

On the vendor leaderboard, Lenovo held on to top spot by shipping 13.4 million units, growing its market share by 3.4 per cent to capture 10.6 per cent of the market. Lenovo has been focused on growing beyond its Asian base, and made strong progress in EMEA and moved past Apple for third in the US market.

Not far behind in second was Hewlett-Packard Co., with 12.9 million units shipped. HP grew its Q1 shipments by 3.3 per cent, and held 19 per cent of the market, thanks to strength in the US and EMEA.

While the top two saw growth, Dell in third place saw its shipments decline by 6.3 per cent in Q1, holding on to 13.5 per cent of the market for its first negative quarter since Q2 of 2013. Acer in fourth spot also dropped by seven per cent, holding on to 7.1 per cent of the market. Rounding out the top five was Asus with seven per cent market share, up 4.4 per cent. Growth in the Asian market fueled the positive performance for Asus.

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