Where are PC sales going after the Windows XP cycle?

|April 10, 2015 0
Gartner spots the first shipment decline in the U.S. after four consecutive quarters of shipment growth in 2014

MUMBAI, INDIA: There is a glimpse of decline in PC space but this decline is not necessarily a sign of sluggish overall PC sales long term, Gartner insinuates.

Mobile PCs, including notebooks, hybrid and Windows tablets, grew compared with a year ago. The first quarter results support our projection of a moderate decline of PC shipments in 2015, which will lead to a slow, consistent growth stage for the next five years.

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 71.7 million units in the first quarter of 2015, a 5.2 per cent decline from the first quarter of 2014, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc.

“The PC industry received a boost in 2014 as many companies replaced their PCs due to the end of Windows XP support, but that replacement cycle faded in the first quarter of 2015,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

“Desk-based PC shipments declined rapidly, with business desk-based PCs being impacted the most. Mobile PCs are being driven by a separate underlying replacement cycle, which led mobile growth in the first quarter. PC replacements will be driven by thin and light notebooks with tablet functionality. Our early study suggests strong growth of hybrid notebooks, especially in mature markets, in 1Q15.”

Lenovo and HP were the only two vendors among the top five worldwide that experienced an increase in PC shipments in the first quarter of 2015. Lenovo experienced its strongest growth in EMEA and the U.S. It has become one of the top providers of hybrid notebooks, especially its Yoga line in mature markets. HP performed moderately well in the first quarter, and it kept its top position in the U.S. and EMEA. HP increased share in the U.S., but in EMEA the share delta from Lenovo, the second-largest vendor in the region, narrowed compared with 4Q14.

For the first time in six quarters, Dell experienced a worldwide PC shipment decline compared with a year ago. Dell was one of the vendors that benefited from replacement purchases due to the end of Windows XP support in 2014, but sales slowed as the replacement cycle faded.

In the U.S., PC shipments totaled 13.9 million units in the first quarter of 2015, a 1.3 per cent decline from the first quarter of 2014. This was the first shipment decline in the U.S. after four consecutive quarters of shipment growth in 2014.

“The first quarter results are not a sign doom for the U.S. market,” Kitagawa said. “The biggest reason for the decline of PC shipments in the U.S. was attributed to the desktop market, which experienced a double-digit decline. This was primarily due to the end of the Windows XP replacement cycle. In contrast, mobile PC shipments in the U.S. continued to show year-over-year growth, and early results show this segment could have grown approximately 10 percent in the first quarter of 2015.”

PC shipments in EMEA totaled 21.7 million units in the first quarter of 2015, a 4.4 per cent decline from the first quarter of 2014. The EMEA market experienced varied trends in the region. A bright spot for the market was the strong shipment volume of hybrid notebooks, which led the growth of consumer mobile PCs.

Desktop PC shipments declined rapidly. Overall, the eurozone currency devaluation against the dollar had a limited impact in the first quarter, but increased prices are expected in the second quarter.

Asia/Pacific PC shipments surpassed 24.3 million units in the first quarter of 2015, a 1.2 per cent decline from the same period last year. The China PC market continues to drag down the overall regional average. In China, both consumer and commercial segments continue to be cautious with PC purchases. Desk-based PC shipments in Asia/Pacific declined 5.2 percent in the first quarter, but mobile PCs grew 3.7 percent.

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