Worldwide PC shipments totalled 73.7 million units in the third quarter of 2015, a 7.7 percent decline from the third quarter of 2014, according to preliminary results by Gartner.
Desktop PCs continued to show weakness with a high-single-digit decline, while the segment that combines notebook PCs and premium ultra-mobiles (such as the MacBook Air and Microsoft Surface Pro) recorded a low-single-digit decline.
“The global PC market has experienced price increases of around 10 per cent throughout the year, due to the sharp appreciation of the U.S. dollar against local currencies,” says Mikako Kitagawa, Principal analyst, Gartner.
“In the third quarter of 2015, this continued to be a major cause for weaker demand in those regions.
“These impacted regions, which include EMEA, Japan and Latin America, posted double-digit declines in the third quarter. Asia/Pacific and the US were more stable.”
Windows 10 was launched in the third quarter of 2015, but it had a minimal impact on shipments in the quarter.
Gartner analysts said the focus of the Windows launch in the quarter was to upgrade to Windows 10 on existing PCs, rather than ship on new PCs. The Windows 10 rollout will ramp up in 4Q15 holiday sales.
While 3Q15 results illustrated gloomy market conditions for the PC market, there is a positive aspect in the results.
According to Gartner's 2015 personal technology survey, 50 per cent of consumers expressed intention to purchase a PC in the next 12 months, compared with 21 per cent for tablet purchase intention.
“This change in consumer preferences toward PCs was visible in the preliminary data, as we saw positive growth in U.S notebook and premium ultra-mobile shipments,” Kitagawa adds.
“Soft recovery is expected to start in 4Q15, as Windows 10 product refreshes start to appear.
“In the meantime, PC manufacturers should adjust configurations for 2016 without the impact of price hikes seen in 2015, which will lead into more stable market conditions in the upcoming year.”
Lenovo secured the top position in worldwide PC shipments, as its market share increased to 20.3 per cent, despite a 4 per cent decline in shipments in the third quarter of 2015.
EMEA and Japan were two challenging regions for Lenovo with double-digit declines, but they were offset by 22 per cent growth in the U.S - Lenovo introduced a variety of hybrid laptops, both detachable and from a wide range of price points.
HP maintained the second position in worldwide PC shipments. HP's market share reached 18.5 per cent, while shipments declined 4 per cent.
HP had weak shipments in EMEA, but they were offset by shipment growth in Asia/Pacific and the US.
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Dell, the No. 3 vendor worldwide, saw flat shipments compared with a year ago. Dell did well in most regions, but it had a double-digit decline in shipments in Japan. In Asia/Pacific and the U.S., Dell grew faster than the regional average.
Regionally speaking, Asia/Pacific PC shipments reached 26.3 million units in the third quarter of 2015, a 1.7 per cent decline from the third quarter of 2014.
Consumer spending continues to be cautious due to weak economies and currency fluctuations - Asia/Pacific mobile PC shipments grew 2.2 per cent in the third quarter, while desk-based PC shipments declined 4.9 per cent.