Worldwide PC Sales Decline on Stronger Dollar, Windows 10 Release

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IDC, the International Data Corporation, estimates global PC sales tumbled to 66.1 million units in the second quarter of 2015, falling at a sharper Y/Y clip than the first quarter’s 6.7% and about 1% faster than expected. Gartner is slightly less harsh, estimating shipments fell 9.5% to 68.4 million.

The main reasons for the decline are: inventory reductions ahead of the Windows 10 launch set for July 29th, a strong dollar that has led to higher overseas prices and tough Y/Y comps caused by the 2014 boost in business PC sales caused by the end of Windows XP support. With tablet sales under pressure as well, tablet cannibalization is less of a factor than in the past, but rising smartphone/tablet usage still appears to be taking a toll on PC upgrade rates.

Gartner sees full-year PC sales falling 4.4%. IDC still expects low-to-mid single-digit declines in 2H15, before volumes stabilize in future years. It sees the Windows 10 launch going “relatively well,” but cautions Microsoft‘s decision to provide free upgrades to Windows 7/8 users will limit its impact on PC sales.

Continuing a recent trend, market leaders grabbed share from smaller rivals. IDC estimates #1 Lenovo’s share rose to 20.3% from 19.4% a year ago, #2 HP’s to 18.5% from 18.2%, and #3 Dell’s to 14.5% from 14%. Acer and Asus are respectively given 6.6% and 6.5% shares

Curiously, IDC has Apple ranked #4 globally, with its share rising to 7.8% from 5.9% via 5.1 million Mac shipments (could imply a 15%+ revenue share), but Gartner doesn’t have the company in its top-5. IDC and Gartner respectively assign Apple 13.5% and 12.7% U.S. shares. In the past, IDC’s Mac shipment estimates have been notably different from the quarterly figures Apple would later report.

Near-term expectations for PC sales are already quite low, following Intel’s Q1 warning, AMD’s Q2 warning, Micron’s June 25 results/guidance, and plenty of other negative news.

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