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Worldwide PC shipments down 10.8%, bigger fall than expected

Staff writer |
Worldwide PC shipments totaled nearly 71 million units in the third quarter of 2015, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

This volume represented a year-on-year decline of -10.8% – slightly worse than projections for a decline of -9.2%.

The lackluster volume of PC shipments was consistent with expectations that the third quarter would face challenging financial conditions and be a transition period.

Across many regions, the channel remained focused on clearing Windows 8 inventory before a more complete portfolio of models incorporating Windows 10 and Intel Skylake processors comes on the scene. Vendors and channels were also working to limit price swings in the face of changes in currency exchange rates. Though easing a bit, currency devaluation continued to inhibit PC shipments in the third quarter.

While Windows 10 has generally received favorable reviews and raised consumer interest in PCs, many users opted to upgrade existing PCs rather than purchase new hardware.

In addition, the unusually short time between Windows RTM (release to manufacturing) and the official retail release hampered the ability of OEMs to launch certified new models, resulting in a limited selection of Windows 10 PCs (as well as related advertising) through much of the third quarter.

Although the overall market continued to see double-digit declines, and even the top vendors saw shipments decline from a year ago, the top 4 vendors performed much better than the rest of the market.

Collectively, the top 4 vendors saw shipments fall by -4.5% from a year ago compared to a decline of almost -20% for the rest of the market.

The advantages of scale, concentration on portable PCs, deeper penetration of distribution channels in emerging regions, as well as smaller vendors exiting the market are all aiding the largest vendors.

Lenovo remained the number 1 vendor with 14.9 million units shipped, a decline of -4.9% compared to a year ago. Flattening performance in Asia/Pacific and lackluster volume elsewhere were offset by a strong quarter in the US, where the vendor continues to aggressively expand partnerships.

HP remained at number 2 with shipments declining -5.5% from a year ago but still outperforming the market. HP also benefited from a stabilizing US market.

Dell at number 3 shipped more than 10 million units, registering a year-over-year decline of -2.9%. Strong results in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) and a flat market in the US helped to offset a relatively slow EMEA market. Notebook volume also was decent.

Apple continued to outperform other vendors, moving to number 3 in the United States and boosting share globally as well as domestically.

Acer continued in the top 5, but saw shipments decline significantly from a strong third quarter performance a year ago as its largest regions, EMEA and Asia/Pacific, continued to see overall declines.

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