2015 marks the PC market's annus horribilis
January 13, 2016 // 3:14 p.m.
The PC market slump continues for every manufacturer whose name isn't 'Apple,' with market watcher IDC reporting its steepest year-on-year decline on record at a whopping 10.6 per cent.
The market for traditional personal computers has been on the downturn for some time now, thanks to a perfect storm of conditions including the rise of the tablet as the primary casual computing device for many and a lack of mainstream requirements for faster hardware outside niche markets like video editing, 3D rendering, and of course gaming. While there has been some evidence of an uptick, or at least a bottoming out, IDC's latest PC market report paints a gloomy picture of a 10.6 per cent decline in shipments, the biggest year-on-year drop in the company's records.
The drop sees the market hitting its lowest point since 2008, but not everyone was a loser. Market leaders Lenovo, HP, and Dell - accounting for 21.4 per cent, 19.9 per cent, and 14.1 per cent of IDC's tracked market respectively - each saw losses, dropping 4.5 per cent, 10.1 per cent, and 5.7 per cent year-on-year. The story was worse for those outside the top five, with the remainder of the market dropping a staggering 21.9 per cent, but there was one major exception in the results table: Apple.
According to IDC's figures, Apple grew 2.8 per cent year-on-year to account for 7.9 per cent of the overall mainstream PC market - drawing level with Asus, which had a modest 0.8 per cent growth of its own. For Apple, it's undeniable cause for celebration: the company has previously had a market share outside IDC's top five table.
IDC is bullish about the future, however. 'The PC market remains competitive and the economic environment weakened further with the recent drop in the Chinese stock market,' explained Loren Loverde, IDC's vice president in charge of its worldwide PC tracker report. 'However, PC replacements should pick up again in 2016, particularly later in the year. Commercial adoption of Windows 10 is expected to accelerate, and consumer buying should also stabilise by the second half of the year. Most PC users have delayed an upgrade, but can only maintain this for so long before facing security and performance issues. We continue to believe that a majority of these users will purchase another PC, motivated by new products and attractive pricing.'
IDC has particularly highlighted two-in-one tablet PCs as a point for growth, with its expectations for 2016's PC market being shifted from a 3.1 per cent decline to a 1-2 per cent increase off the back of convertible sales.