Leading market researchers have confirmed that PC shipments continued to decline through the first three months of this year, but Microsoft should not be too worried.
Gartner and IDC are the two leading market researchers, and both firms say that PC shipments at the start of 2016 are continuing to fall.
Of course, falling PC sales is not good news for Microsoft considering its Windows platform is the dominant market leader.
Sure, the company has long branched out and away from the consumer market, with enterprise, cloud, and mobile all more important these days. Still it is worrying that PC sales are dropping and the market will likely never recover.
None of this is a surprise obviously, the PC market has been in a drastic decline for a decade and has been reduced by the rise of smartphones and the mobile space.
So, how bad has it got at the start of 2016? Well, Gartner estimates that through the first quarter (Q1) of this year, PC shipments were at 64.8 million units. This represents a 9.6% decline year-on-year compared to Q1 2014, while the researcher says this is the sixth consecutive quarter that sales have slipped.
For the first time since 2007, PC shipments have slipped below 65 million over a three month period, but the good news for Microsoft is that Windows machines still dominate the market. Windows partners Lenovo, HP, Dell, and Asus fill up the top four best-selling PC vendors through Q1, with Apple and its OS X platform rounding out the top five.
IDC has also issued its numbers, but its criteria does not include detachable hybrids like the Surface Pro 4, so the firm says it records sales at 60.6 million units. That number is a significant 11.5% drop from the same period a year ago, with IDC citing weak consumer demand and the slow adoption rates for Windows 10 in enterprise as the reason for the decline.
It’s not a complete disaster for Microsoft as the success of Windows 10 depends more on enterprises updating existing machines more than it does hardware sales. However, IDC is remaining optimistic about 2016 and says it expects sales to increase as Windows 10 takes hold and some businesses buy new hardware to run the software.
“Nevertheless, IDC still projects total business IT spending to grow compared to 2015, and as we head toward the end of 2016 things should start picking up in terms of Windows 10 pilots turning into actual PC purchases“.
– Jay Chou, Research Manager at IDC Worldwide PC Tracker, said in a statement.