Worldwide PC shipment shed 9.6 percent to 64.8 million in Q1, according to Gartner. This was the sixth consecutive quarter of PC shipment declines, and the first time since 2007 that shipment volume fell below 65 million units.
In the Asia-Pacific, PC shipment dropped 5.1 percent to 23.3 million units. The ongoing fragile Chinese economy and weak global demand continued to dampen consumer sentiment in the region.
With high PC penetration in the major cities, it was a challenge to invoke PC replacements on the appeal of new technology. The PC life cycle is lengthening as many consumers are waiting until their PC breaks down before purchasing a new one.
“The deterioration of local currencies against the US.dollar continued to play a major role in PC shipment declines. Our early results also show there was an inventory buildup from holiday sales in the fourth quarter of 2015,” said Mikako Kitagawa, Principal Analyst of Gartner.
“All major regions showed year-over-year shipment declines, with Latin America showing the steepest drop, where PC shipments declined 32.4 percent. The Latin American PC market was intensely impacted by Brazil, where the problematic economy and political instability adversely affected the market. The ongoing decline in US PC shipment showed that the installed base is still shrinking, a factor that played across developed economies. Low oil prices drove economic contraction in Latin America and Russia, changing them from drivers of growth to market laggards,” she added.
PCs are not being adopted in new households as they were in the past, especially in emerging markets. In these markets, smartphones are the priority. In the business segment, Gartner analysts said the Windows 10 refresh is expected to start toward the end of 2016.
Lenovo maintained the top position in worldwide PC shipment in Q1 despite a 7.2 percent decline. It experienced a drop in all regions except North America, where the company’s PC units increased 14.6 percent from the same period last year. In the last four quarters, Lenovo has shown double-digit shipment growth in the US, while the overall market has declined.