PC Market Hits Historic Low: Can Windows 10 Save It? - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Operating Systems
News
1/13/2016
10:05 AM
50%
50%

PC Market Hits Historic Low: Can Windows 10 Save It?

Sales of PCs continue to fall as more and more people turn to smartphones and tablets for their computing needs. However, Gartner and IDC predict uptake of Windows 10 could provide a market boost later in the year.

Windows 10 Laptops, Hybrids Grab The Spotlight At CES 2016
Windows 10 Laptops, Hybrids Grab The Spotlight At CES 2016
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

The struggling PC market posted a year-on-year decline of 10.6% following worldwide shipments of 71.9 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015, the first year PC shipments fell below 300 million units since 2008, according to two reports released Jan. 12.

The reports from IT research firms IDC and Gartner indicated a market battered by competition from increasingly capable mobile and tablet devices, as well as persistent challenges from longer-PC lifecycles.

While the 2015 holiday quarter achieved a modest uptick compared to the third quarter, the year-on-year decline in last year's shipments was nevertheless the largest in history, surpassing the decline of 9.8% in 2013.

On the vendor side, HP retained its lead in the PC market with a 28.1% share in the US, while Dell held the second position with a 23.9% share.

Apple, which continues to buck the trend of an eroding consumer PC market, leveraged the consumer-heavy holiday season to retake third place with a 12.7% share, while Lenovo and Asus rounded out the top five, according to the IDC report.

(Image: Kelly Sheridan/InformationWeek)

(Image: Kelly Sheridan/InformationWeek)

The report also noted the market is taking some time to respond to new operating system and hardware configurations. Specifically, consumers and business buyers are taking much more time to decide when to evaluate and upgrade to slim, convertible, detachable, and touch variations versus more traditional PCs.

However, IDC analysts predicted that PC replacements would pick up again in 2016, particularly later in the year, with the potential for faster commercial transition to Windows 10. There is the potential for faster enterprise adoption of this version of Windows compared to previous releases.

"Commercial adoption of Windows 10 is expected to accelerate, and consumer buying should also stabilize by the second half of the year," Loren Loverde, vice president of IDC's Worldwide PC Tracker, wrote in the report. "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 Gartner report noted that on a worldwide scale, all regions registered a decrease in shipments, with currency devaluation issues continuing to affect the Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, Latin America, and Japan, which collectively saw their markets reduced by nearly 10% in 2015.

For the year, worldwide PC shipments declined for the fourth consecutive year, which started in 2012 with the launch of tablets. Preliminary results indicated that the China PC market declined 4.7% in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared with a year ago, according to Gartner.

Gartner's report showed that on a worldwide scale, Lenovo maintained the number one position, accounting for 19.8% of PC shipments, followed by HP with 18.2% marketshare. Dell rounded out the top three vendors, accounting for 13.6% of shipments.

[Read about Microsoft ending support for IE.]

Like the IDC report, Gartner's analysis indicated adoption of Windows 10 could help boost PC sales in the latter part of 2016.

"On the business side, Windows 10 generally received positive reviews, but as expected, Windows 10 migration was minor in the fourth quarter as many organizations were just starting their testing period," Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, wrote in a statement.

**Elite 100 2016: DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JAN. 15, 2016** There's still time to be a part of the prestigious InformationWeek Elite 100! Submit your company's application by Jan. 15, 2016. You'll find instructions and a submission form here: InformationWeek's Elite 100 2016.

Nathan Eddy is a freelance writer for InformationWeek. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets, and CRN, among others. In 2012 he made his first documentary film, The Absent Column. He currently lives in Berlin. View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
kstaron
50%
50%
kstaron,
User Rank: Ninja
1/26/2016 | 10:39:19 AM
Re: Used PCs
I agree, gamers and designers are going to stick to desktops for the performance and screen size. But if you're just running invoices or writing emails to customers as the basis for your computing a desktop is relatively useless in the age of smartphones and tablets. As for the psuedo-malware ad on my laptop that keep prompting me to install windows 10, how can that 'save' anything? Do people really want to run out and buy a new computer so their new operating system can have a place to work? I don't want to install win 10 because I might HAVE to go to another computer. Working on an older machine, I get wary of any new upgrade because it usually means somethings going to stop working. But what I have works for what I do so why replace it yet?
jastroff
50%
50%
jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
1/18/2016 | 5:09:53 PM
Re: The change has got to be more than the drop in PCs
TerryB -- all good stuff.

I just think at this point we are smart enough to pair the rise of different kinds of work to the decline of the PC

 

 
TerryB
50%
50%
TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
1/18/2016 | 12:42:12 PM
Re: The change has got to be more than the drop in PCs
@jastroff, you've got to remember most enterprises are server based, ERP. People like myself have been pounding on the paper reduction since the 80's. Most of our generation of POs to vendors and Order Acks/Invoices to customers is an email with a PDF attachment, there is no paper and no snail mail. MS Office never really played a role in that part of business if you knew what you were doing.

So a Win PC is really just the client side of accessing the server. Most old school ERP, which most of us still use, depended on client software which, for most part, ran on Win. To this day, do you see SAP running on Mac? Linux has made some inroads but that still Intel type PC's. That stuff isn't going to tablets and phones in enterprises, ever. Why does your A/P clerk need to be mobile?

That's why I maintain Win is solid in the enterprise, specifically manufacturing, for a long time. Only if Chrome gets serious about competing, gets ERP ports to that platform, could market share shift radically. The other potential competition comes from porting ERP to browsers, then any cost efficient client becomes feasible in enterprise.

But comparing to the past? Consumers have fled, enterprises were only ever a small portion of that market share.
jastroff
50%
50%
jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
1/18/2016 | 10:08:33 AM
Re: The change has got to be more than the drop in PCs
Yeah, to CRM, and other back ofice efficiences. 

I still don't think that "dop in PC" number has any more meaning if it's not coupled with where the work went, how the work changed, what stayed, what disappeared. 

 

We should pair hardware to workflow -- and then we would get a more useful number.
Broadway0474
50%
50%
Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
1/18/2016 | 12:15:30 AM
Re: The change has got to be more than the drop in PCs
Sounds like a Weird Al rendition of a classic 60s protest song: "Where has all the paperwork gone?" Maybe it's all gone to CRM? And maybe some of it's gone back to face to face? Whether that's via teleconferencing or webchats? 
jastroff
50%
50%
jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
1/17/2016 | 11:43:37 AM
The change has got to be more than the drop in PCs
Ok, fewer PCs; mpore phones and tablets. More cloud work

 

How has work changed to knock the PC out of the box? Do we use Google Docs to write a letter/document/contracts and then store it in the Cloud? Or do we just use SLAX or other communication apps to substitute for "paperwork"

where has the "paperwork" gone? the stuff tha moves business? Makes deals? Some of it became e-communication, but not all of it.

 

Would also like to see the drop in Office 365 as well -- if PCs drop, the software should as well, no?

 

 
mak63
50%
50%
mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
1/17/2016 | 5:24:05 AM
Re: Windows 10 - so what?
@ Gary_EL "I fail to see how the advent of Windows 10 will do anything to enhance PC sales."
Couldn't we say the same about new cars, new phones, the latest trend in clothing, etc?
"they are no longer sold with any way to reinstall the operating system"
I know it's not the same, but there are several ways to reinstall an OS without the media. On Windows 10 for instance, you can do it from Recovery or if you're on it, from Settings/Reset this PC. You could also download the media creation tool for Win 10, and create an USB, DVD or an ISO.
"Anyone who needs a larger screen, or needs to look at two things at once will need a PC."
Not necessarily.  You could plug a secondary monitor on the laptop's VGA port, or the HDMI port. You could even get a beautiful 16", USB Portable Monitor. Not very expensive nowadays.

Edit:
I forgot to mention that you could also add a tablet as a second monitor. I did it a couple of times with my phone. Well, as you can imagine, the screen was rather small, but with a 10" tablet, it might work just fine.
So you see, a laptop can have up to 4 extra monitors. That will be a nice setup. Now, if I only have $1000...
"Well, more than a niche"
I hope you're right, or I feel a bit isolated
mak63
50%
50%
mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
1/17/2016 | 5:13:23 AM
Re: Used PCs
@PedroGonzales I think PC will become a niche technology specially for designers and gamers which need work with more powerful PCs.   
Don't forget geeks!
Gary_EL
50%
50%
Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
1/16/2016 | 10:26:00 PM
Re: Used PCs
Well, more than a niche. Anyone who needs a larger screen, or needs to look at two things at once will need a PC. For instance, right now I have half my screen occupied with your note, and the other half with this response. A laptop screen, let alone a phablet screen, would be too small. But I agree that many people who used to use PC's will be satisfied with laptops and phablets.
PedroGonzales
50%
50%
PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
1/16/2016 | 10:10:20 PM
Re: Used PCs
I think for people who use a computer for the basic, going to the web and using office a refurbish computer will be just fine.  They can have a standalone computer and be able to take advantage of all their features.   I do not think Windows 10 will be enough to save the PC market.  Consumers now are mobile and prefer a laptop or a phablet.  I think PC will become a niche technology specially for designers and gamers which need work with more powerful PCs.   
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
News
IBM Puts Red Hat OpenShift to Work on Sports Data at US Open
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  8/30/2019
Slideshows
IT Careers: 10 Places to Look for Great Developers
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  9/4/2019
Commentary
Cloud 2.0: A New Era for Public Cloud
Crystal Bedell, Technology Writer,  9/1/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Data Science and AI in the Fast Lane
This IT Trend Report will help you gain insight into how quickly and dramatically data science is influencing how enterprises are managed and where they will derive business success. Read the report today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll