Global PC sales declined for eight consecutive quarters, Gartner reports

Origin Millenium PC 2016
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Although a recent report states consumer satisfaction with desktops and laptops is on the rise, Gartner is now pointing out that shipments of desktops, laptops, and ultra-mobile “premiums” like the Surface devices declined 5.7 percent in the third quarter of 2016. This is a global number and shows sales have continuously gone downhill over the last eight quarters. It is also the longest duration of a decline in the history of the PC, according to Gartner.

On a global scale, Lenovo takes the sales lead in the third quarter of 2016 with a 20.9-percent market share, down 2.4 percent from the same quarter in 2015. HP fell into second place with a 20.4-percent market share followed by Dell (14.7 percent), Asus (7.8 percent), Apple (7.2 percent), and Acer (6.7 percent). Out of this group, Apple and Acer took nasty hits to the wallet with a 13.4-percent and 16.2-percent drop, respectively, while the HP/Dell/Asus trio gained over 2.3 percent.

Additionally, when the batch of PC manufacturers that fall under the ‘others’ umbrella are thrown into the mix, the total growth in the third quarter of 2016 is a negative 5.7 percent. In the United States, the decline is not quite so drastic but still present, as the local PC-market growth only dropped a mere 0.3 percent compared to the same quarter in 2015.

On a more detailed level, HP actually took the lead in the third quarter of 2016 here in the U.S. The company commanded 29.7 percent of the market, up 3.1 percent from the same quarter in 2015. Dell fell into second place with a 24-percent share followed by Lenovo (14.1 percent), Apple (12.9 percent), and Asus (5.1 percent). Of this group, Lenovo saw the biggest gains with a 15.3-percent rise in units sold while Apple was hit the hardest with a 10.7-percent plunge.

According to the report, the Asia/Pacific region saw 24.7 million units sold in the third quarter of 2016, down 7.6 percent from the same quarter in 2015. While the number of units sold in China is unknown, that market reportedly took a 4.8-percent plunge. The Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) market saw 19.2 million units sold with a 3.3- percent decline, and the United States saw 16.2 million units sold for a 0.3-percent decline.

“The stabilization of the PC business market was a key factor for HP Inc.’s shipment growth, as a majority of its revenue was generated from the business segment,” Gartner said on Tuesday. “Dell’s shipment growth exceeded the regional average in most regions.”

The numbers were a bit surprising given the back-to-school season. However, the firm said that campaigns targeting students have become less effective. Even more, the consumer market is saturated with PCs, thus customers are not really out to purchase new units. Even more, parents are handing older devices down to their children. Parents may even be purchasing Chromebooks, which were not included in Gartner’s market study.

Right now, Gartner’s current report is based on preliminary findings. The full set of numbers will be provided within the firm’s PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region program. Regardless, the report is just one more negative mark slapped on the PC industry.

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