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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > Gartner, IDC: worldwide PC shipments down a consensus 10 percent

Gartner, IDC: worldwide PC shipments down a consensus 10 percent
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Apr 12, 2016, 12:19 PM
As is usually the case in estimating worldwide and US shipments of PC hardware, the two leading US firms charged with tracking the industry disagree -- sometimes quite significantly -- on the specific figures of how much the general PC market has fallen, but agree completely that it has. In the year-over-year comparison of first-quarter computer shipments, Gartner reports a 9.6 percent decline, while IDC paints a gloomier picture with an 11.5 percent drop. While Gartner claims there were 64.8 million units shipped in the first three months of the year compared to IDC's notably-lower 60.6 million, both companies agree it is the sixth consecutive quarter of declines, and the first time since 2007 that shipments fell below 65 million units.

Gartner analysts blamed the severity of the drop to "the deterioration of local currencies against the US dollar" as well as "an inventory buildup from holiday sales in the fourth quarter of 2015," said Gartner Principal Analyst Mikako Kitagawa. "All major regions showed year-on-year shipment declines, with Latin America showing the steepest drop, where PC shipments declined 32.4 percent. The Latin America PC market was intensely impacted by Brazil, where the problematic economy and political instability adversely affect the market. Low oil prices drove economic contraction in Latin America and Russia, changing them from drivers of growth to market laggards," she said.

Gartner worldwide shipment figures
Gartner worldwide shipment figures

IDC worldwide shipment figures
IDC worldwide shipment figures

In addition, Gartner analysts noted that "PCs are not being adopted in new households like they used to, especially in emerging markets. In these markets, smartphones are the priority." IDC analysts agreed that "the PC market must still grapple with limited consumer interest," thanks to a move to mobile, but that the commercial market may pick up again towards the end of 2016 once Windows 10 enterprise upgrades emerge from a "pilot phase." In the worldwide market only Asus and Apple reported growth in the quarter, at 1.5 percent and one percent above the year prior, according to Gartner (IDC's figures claimed there was no growth at all from any of the top makers, but that Dell and Apple suffered the smallest drops, at around two percent each).

Turning to US-specific figures, only Lenovo and Dell managed any growth (a healthy 6.6 percent increase in shipments for Lenovo, a 3.1 rise for Dell), with Apple falling the least (0.3 percent), to hear Gartner tell it. IDC of course has different figures: Lenovo surged 21.1 percent according to them, with Apple gaining 5.6 percent domestically and Dell rising 4.2 percent. Overall, IDC says the US market fell by 5.8 percent, while Gartner calls it a 6.6 percent drop. One key factor that may help explain the great disparity of the two companies' figures lies in what they consider to be "PCs:" Gartner's figures add in "detachables," which are tablets that can run desktop OS versions or otherwise primarily use keyboard, such as the Surface Pro (and the iPad Pro), while IDC counts traditional desktop and notebook sales only.

Gartner US shipment estimates
Gartner US shipment estimates

IDC US shipment estimates
IDC US shipment estimates

In IDC's US rankings compared to the previous quarter, Apple slipped to fourth place in PC manufacturing due to Lenovo and Dell's strong gains, with Dell moving ahead of traditional market leader HP. Worldwide, however, Apple has held on to fourth on the strength of its smaller drop. For Gartner's part, Apple remains in its traditional fifth place for worldwide PC shipments compared to last quarter, while both IDC and Gartner agreed that HP suffered the largest drop in worldwide shipments among the top five vendors, falling about 10 percent year-over-year.
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Apr 12, 2016, 06:56 PM
You know what's really interesting about this?

If you remove Macs from the totals, pretty much 100% of the remainder of these sales are running Windows. A total of either 60M or 56M computers, depending on who you believe.

Apple hasn't reported Q2 yet, but let's look at Q2 2015 and just assume that this quarter will be similar: Apple sold about 61M iPhones and 12M iPads.

That means that, unless this quarter was extremely bad for Apple, they literally sold more iOS devices--and possibly more iPhones alone--than every Windows PC manufacturer sold, total. Given how cheap PCs tend to be worldwide, the ASP was probably higher, too. Installed base of PCs is somewhat higher still, but not by a wide margin.

It's kind of astounding if you think about it--iOS is now selling better than Windows, and iDevices are selling better than Windows PCs. All of them.
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