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Computer sales fall by over 10% in record decline in demand

By James Walker     Jan 13, 2016 in Technology
Sales in PCs fell by a record 10.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 over the same period of 2014 amid consistent declining sales in all the regions of the world. Blame has been placed on the increasing popularity of tablets and convertible laptops.
The figures were published in a report by market analysts IDC today. 2015 was the first year since 2008 where total PC shipments were under 300 million units. The decline is the largest in history since IDC started tracking sales in the market.
71.9 million PCs were shipped during the last three months of 2015. IDC noted that the fall in holiday sales can be partially attributed to Microsoft's offer of a free upgrade to Windows 10 for Windows 7 and 8.1 computers. This promises users a "new" experience and may convince them to stick with their current machine for longer than they ordinarily would.
Lenovo remains the largest manufacturer with over 20 percent market share throughout the year. HP and Dell take second and third place respectively, followed by Apple and Asus in joint fourth. IDC said the real winner in 2015 was actually Apple though, as it was the only company to increase its market share to a total of 7.5 percent, putting it "clearly ahead on an annual basis."
2015 may have seen a dramatic decline in PC sales but that doesn't necessarily mean the situation won't be turned around this year. IDC said the fall is "setting the stage" for increased stability in the market in 2016 as demand for phones, tablets and traditional computers begin to balance out.
People are also more likely to resume buying new devices when manufacturers put their 2016 ranges on sale. Consumers who have decided to upgrade their current equipment to Windows 10 may begin to consider buying new hardware again in the latter quarters of the year, potentially leading to quarter-on-quarter growth throughout 2016.
Loren Loverde, IDC Vice President and Worldwide PC Tracker, said: "The PC market remains competitive and the economic environment weakened further with the recent drop in the Chinese stock market. However, PC replacements should pick up again in 2016, particularly later in the year."
Loverde also noted the disrupting impact that Windows 10's launch has had on the market. He said: "Commercial adoption of Windows 10 is expected to accelerate, and consumer buying should also stabilize 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."
The decline makes Q4 of 2015 the fifth consecutive quarter where PC sales have fallen. In total, only 276.2 million devices were shipped, a level close to 2007's 270.5 million.
Not every category of PC is suffering in the same way though. High-end premium devices are actually exhibiting growth amid the general decline. Gaming computers and professional laptops are performing especially well, despite the high price tags they carry.
The demand for these kind of products has bene attributed to how they still haven't been fully replaced by tablets and smartphones and are now beginning to carve out their own sub-category above other products.
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