Even Windows 10 Can't Save PCs From Drowning

by CXOtoday News Desk    Oct 09, 2015

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Windows 10 may be Microsoft’s best received operating system in several years, but research firm Gartner said  even this won’t translate into a growing PC market at least until 2017. In fact none can save the PC market this year and beyond, which is already in severe trouble.

While Gartner earlier predicted PC sales are expected to drop 7.3 percent this year, to 291 million units, and remain stagnant next year as well, Q32015 is already showing strong signs of its decline globally.

Gartner estimates worldwide PC shipments dropped 7.7 percent to 73.7 million units in the third quarter. The top five vendors were Lenovo, HP, Dell, Apple, and Acer. Gartner says Dell and Apple were the only two vendors among the top six that experienced an increase in PC shipments. Acer and Asus saw particularly poor results with double-digit declines.

IDC , meanwhile, estimates worldwide PC shipments dropped 10.8 percent to 71.0 million units in the third quarter. The top five vendors in IDC’s results were Lenovo, HP, Dell, Apple, and Acer. The analyst firm too stated that Lenovo, HP, and Acer were down, but it found that the rest dropped, as well. However, Gartner believes Apple gained globally, while IDC did not agree on this count.

Yet both the agree that Apple took third place in the U.S. market after gaining share, behind only HP and Dell, respectively. When it comes to computers, Apple continues to do better at home than globally.

The research firms also blamed the U.S. dollar for this dip. However, they are hopeful on a short-term rebound.

“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. “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.”

Windows 10 was launched in the third quarter of 2015, but it had a minimal impact on shipments in the quarter. Gartner analysts said the focus of the Windows launch in the quarter was to upgrade to Windows 10 on existing PCs, rather than ship on new PCs. The Windows 10 rollout will ramp up in 4Q15 holiday sales.

“The PC market continues to contract as expected, but we remain optimistic about future shipments,” IDC research manager Jay Chou said in a statement. “While PC shipments will be hampered in the short run by the availability of a free upgrade to Windows 10, the improved PC experience across user segments should drive longer-term demand for new PC hardware that is expected help stabilize the market in 2016 and beyond.”