Stamford, Conn. – Global PC shipments fell 7.7 percent to 73.7 million units in the third quarter of 2015 compared to the third quarter of 2014, according to preliminary research results from Gartner, Inc. The biggest reason: higher prices due to the U.S. dollar against local currencies.
The report shows that demand for desktop PCs continued to drop with high-single-digit declines, while the notebook PC and premium ultramobile device market declined in the low single-digits.
"The global PC market has experienced price increases of around 10 percent throughout the year, due to the sharp appreciation of the U.S. dollar against local currencies. In the third quarter of 2015, this continued to be a major cause for weaker demand in those regions," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, in a statement. "These impacted regions, which include EMEA, Japan and Latin America, posted double-digit declines in the third quarter. Asia/Pacific and the U.S. were more stable."
The Windows 10 launch in the third quarter of 2015 had a minimal impact on shipments, said Gartner, noting that the focus of the launch was to upgrade existing PCs rather than to ship on new PCs. Analysts expect the Windows 10 rollout to ramp up in the fourth quarter for the holiday.
Gartner analysts also see signs of future stabilization and growth. According to Gartner's 2015 personal technology survey, 50 percent of consumers expect to purchase a PC in the next 12 months, compared with 21 percent for tablet purchases.
"This change in consumer preferences toward PCs was visible in the preliminary data, as we saw positive growth in U.S. notebook and premium ultramobile shipments," Kitagawa stated. "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."
In terms of market leaders, Lenovo maintained its top position in worldwide PC shipments, with a market share increase of 20.3 percent, despite a 4 percent decline in shipments in the third quarter of 2015, followed by HP with a market share of 18.5 percent, and a shipment decline of four percent, and Dell, which posted flat shipments compared to a year ago. (See chart.)
By geographic region, PC shipments in the U.S. totaled 17 million units in the third quarter of 2015, a 1.3 percent increase year over year. “Similar to worldwide market trends, the U.S. market experienced growth in notebooks and premium ultramobiles, which was offset by desktop PC shipment declines,” said Gartner.
PC shipments in EMEA totaled 20 million units in the third quarter of 2015, falling 15.7 percent over the same period last year. “The currency devaluation continued to be a major contributor of stagnation in EMEA, as prices remained high,” and “the inventory buildup from the first half of 2015 started showing some improvement during the third quarter,” said Gartner.
In Asia/Pacific, PC shipments reached 26.3 million units in the third quarter of 2015, a 1.7 percent decline from the third quarter of 2014. “Consumer spending continues to be cautious due to weak economies and currency fluctuations,” said Gartner.