The global PC market continues to struggle in the weeks leading up to the launch of Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system. While worldwide computer shipments totaled 68.4 million in the second quarter of 2015, the number represents nearly a 10% decline, according to new numbers from Gartner.
The latest results from Gartner, released July 9, show that PC shipments fell 9.5% from the second quarter of 2014 to the second quarter of this year. That's the steepest PC shipment decline since the third quarter of 2013.
Overall, PC shipments will decline in total by 4.4% in 2015, Gartner predicts.
IDC, another research firm, doesn't include tablets in its report as Gartner does. This means that IDC found an 11.8% drop, year-on-year, with 66.1 million shipments during the second quarter of 2015.
Gartner believes that there are three major reasons for the drop in shipments, and that they are "temporary inhibitors." Given this postulate, the company thinks the market to go back to "slow and steady growth" in 2016.
The inhibitors include the ending of Windows XP support -- which jacked up PC buying a year ago -- currency fluctuations that increased PC prices, and consumers waiting for the release of Windows 10.
IDC agrees in a general way with the reasons Gartner states for the decline, but disagrees on the Windows 10 effect. Loren Loverde, IDC VP of Worldwide PC Trackers & Forecasting, wrote in a statement: "We're expecting the Windows 10 launch to go relatively well, though many users will opt for a free OS upgrade rather than buying a new PC."
Microsoft will launch Windows 10 on July 29, and the software giant has started to build up some anticipation for the release. This time through, Redmond has released numerous builds of Windows 10 to members of the public and has gone out of its way to make the launch much more inclusive by soliciting feedback from users.
While consumers are the focus of the initial launch, Microsoft and its partners are keeping an eye on what businesses want as well. Many enterprises will likely start any upgrades only in 2016, after numerous rounds of testing.
[Check out the latest build of Windows 10.]
IDC also handles Apple in a different way than Gartner does. IDC analysts don't just dump it in the Other category; they do a separate analysis. That analysis shows Apple taking a different course from the rest of the market.
"[Apple] continued to outperform other vendors, with growth of 16.1% globally," according to the July 9 IDC report. "The vendor has largely avoided the price competition affecting other players and may be benefiting from some of the uncertainty around the launch of Windows 10, along with refreshed products like the 12-inch MacBook and a relative concentration of shipments in the U.S."
IDC and Gartner agree on the relative ranking of PC vendors, however. Lenovo is first at 13.4 million units shipped and a 19.3% marketshare (as reckoned by IDC), followed by HP (12.25M, 18.2%), Dell (9.3M, 14.5%), and with Acer and ASUS tied around 4.5M and 6.4% each. The marketshare numbers were relatively unchanged from 2Q14.