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It was more bad news for the PC industry this week as Q4 2015 sales figures were released.
Overall PC sales figures for the year 2015 dropped to historic lows – their lowest point since 2007.
Interestingly enough, 2007 was also the year the first iPhone was introduced.
This latest data was released Tuesday by industry research firm International Data Corp. That company reported that three bad factors came into play for the plummeting PC market, including:
-Economic slowdown in China
-Strong US dollar (making computers cost more in Europe and other markets)
-Growth of smartphones and other mobile devices
The last factor is the only one that was really predicted by the market. The first two factors were more of a surprise that unveiled itself throughout the year.
The Raw Data
So how bad is it? Here are some of the key indicators to get from the latest report:
-PC manufacturers shipped 276.2 million units in 2015
-IDC analyst Jay Chou, interviewed here by The Wall Street Journal, expected that PC shipments would decline by 10.3% in 2015. Instead, they dropped by 10.4%.
-Chou also said “2015 is the first time we’ve had the PC market, from a volume perspective, go below 300 million units since 2008.”
-PC manufacturers shipped 299.6 million units in 2008 and 270.5 million units in 2007.
Rival data research firm Gartner Inc. (yes, there are rivals in the PC industry data collection world) tallied slightly different figures. Gartner includes sales of tablets in its shipment data, which is why they came up with the following data:
-Gartner reported that 288.7 million PC shipments took place across 2015, which was an 8% drop from the year before.
-Both research firms agreed on the top 3 largest PC vendors, including Lenovo Group Ltd, HP Inc., and Dell Inc, shipping 15.4 million units, 14.3 million units, and 10.2 million units, respectively.
-Those three PC manufacturers reported declining shipments in reverse order, with HP reporting the biggest decline (10.1% year over year), while Dell declined 5.7% and Lenovo declined 4.5%.
-Interestingly enough, the fourth-place Asustek Computer Inc. actually saw PC shipments rise by 0.8%
-Similarly, Apple’s shipments rose by 2.8%
Smaller Companies Get Hit Hardest
The companies hit hardest by the decline in the PC industry are smaller companies. These companies account for about one third (29%) of the PC market.
Shipments from PC manufacturers outside the top 5 plummeted by 21.9%, which meant larger vendors gained share even as their overall volume declined.
Meanwhile, the only sector of the industry to record significant growth was the high-end market and PC gaming world, which continued to grow at a mild pace due to the continued popularity of PC gaming.