PC Shipments Remain Depressed By Volatile Currencies, Inventory, and OS Transition in the Third Quarter, Although 2016 Should Fare Better, According to IDC

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--()--Worldwide PC shipments totaled nearly 71.0 million units in the third quarter of 2015 (3Q15), according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. This volume represented a year-on-year decline of -10.8% – slightly worse than projections for a decline of -9.2%.

The lackluster volume of PC shipments was consistent with expectations that the third quarter would face challenging financial conditions and be a transition period. Across many regions, the channel remained focused on clearing Windows 8 inventory before a more complete portfolio of models incorporating Windows 10 and Intel Skylake processors comes on the scene. Vendors and channels were also working to limit price swings in the face of changes in currency exchange rates. Though easing a bit, currency devaluation continued to inhibit PC shipments in the third quarter.

While Windows 10 has generally received favorable reviews and raised consumer interest in PCs, many users opted to upgrade existing PCs rather than purchase new hardware. In addition, the unusually short time between Windows RTM (release to manufacturing) and the official retail release hampered the ability of OEMs to launch certified new models, resulting in a limited selection of Windows 10 PCs (as well as related advertising) through much of the third quarter.

Although the overall market continued to see double-digit declines, and even the top vendors saw shipments decline from a year ago, the top 4 vendors performed much better than the rest of the market. Collectively, the top 4 vendors saw shipments fall by -4.5% from a year ago compared to a decline of almost -20% for the rest of the market. The advantages of scale, concentration on portable PCs, deeper penetration of distribution channels in emerging regions, as well as smaller vendors exiting the market are all aiding the largest vendors.

"The PC market continues to contract as expected, but we remain optimistic about future shipments," said Jay Chou, Research Manager, IDC Worldwide PC Tracker. "While PC shipments will be hampered in the short run by the availability of a free upgrade to Windows 10, the improved PC experience across user segments should drive longer-term demand for new PC hardware that is expected help stabilize the market in 2016 and beyond."

The U.S. PC market continued to suffer from soft demand in both the consumer and commercial segments. The July launch of Windows 10 had an immediate suppressive impact as many consumers took advantage of the free upgrade. In commercial, IT budgets remained focused on other projects including mobile-readiness and digital transformation initiatives.

"Still, there is some hope in the fourth quarter," stated Linn Huang, IDC Research Director, Devices & Displays. "New designs running Windows 10 and powered by Intel's new Skylake processors are coming to market and may represent the most compelling reason we've had in years for consumers to upgrade their PCs. Whether this compulsion translates into actual sales remains to be seen."

Regional Highlights

United States – PC shipments in the U.S. totaled 17.3 million units, down slightly year over year. HP retained its leadership position followed by Dell. Apple reclaimed a seat in the top three, narrowly edging out Lenovo in volume. Toshiba rounded out the top five. Inventory issues lessened somewhat in September, improving the channel's appetite for new Windows 10 PC shipments ahead of the coming holidays.

Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) – In line with second quarter trends, PC shipments in EMEA posted a double-digit decline, as vendors continued to deplete Windows 8 stock in preparation for shipments of new products for the holiday season. Inventory in the channels decreased significantly by the end of the quarter, making way for more Windows 10 machines. Nevertheless, currency fluctuations together with an ongoing economic and political turmoil in parts of the region continued to inhibit demand and constrained shipments.

Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) – Volume was close to expectations this quarter. The market was softer compared to the previous year due to currency impact on the region and clearing of channel inventory as the main priority for many countries. Some big projects were postponed, including an education project in India. The commercial market was soft and was generally supported by government projects in many countries.

Japan – PC shipments maintained seasonal trends, showing solid growth compared to Q2 2015 but nonetheless fell below forecast as demand remained hampered by a weak Yen, persistent inventory, and a relative lack of Windows 10 marketing.

Vendor Highlights

Lenovo remained the number 1 vendor with 14.9 million units shipped, a decline of -4.9% compared to a year ago. Flattening performance in Asia/Pacific and lackluster volume elsewhere were offset by a strong quarter in the US, where the vendor continues to aggressively expand partnerships.

HP remained at number 2 with shipments declining -5.5% from a year ago but still outperforming the market. HP also benefited from a stabilizing US market.

Dell at number 3 shipped more than 10 million units, registering a year-over-year decline of -2.9%. Strong results in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) and a flat market in the US helped to offset a relatively slow EMEA market. Notebook volume also was decent.

Apple continued to outperform other vendors, moving to number 3 in the United States and boosting share globally as well as domestically.

Acer continued in the top 5, but saw shipments decline significantly from a strong third quarter performance a year ago as its largest regions, EMEA and Asia/Pacific, continued to see overall declines.

 

Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide PC Shipments, Third Quarter 2015 (Preliminary)
(Shipments are in thousands of units)

                     
Vendor  

3Q15
Shipments

 

3Q15
Market
Share

 

3Q14
Shipments

 

3Q14
Market
Share

 

3Q15/3Q14
Growth

1. Lenovo   14,937   21.0%   15,699   19.7%   -4.9%
2. HP   13,905   19.6%   14,715   18.5%   -5.5%
3. Dell   10,120   14.3%   10,425   13.1%   -2.9%
4. Apple   5,324   7.5%   5,514   6.9%   -3.4%
5. Acer Group   4,997   7.0%   6,746   8.5%   -25.9%
Others   21,693   30.6%   26,459   33.3%   -18.0%
Total   70,976   100.0%   79,558   100.0%   -10.8%
         

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, October 8, 2015

Table notes follow the last table

In addition to the table above, an interactive graphic showing worldwide PC market share for the top 5 vendors over the previous five quarters is available here. The chart is intended for public use in online news articles and social media. Instructions on how to embed this graphic can be found by viewing this press release on IDC.com.

 

Top 5 Vendors, United States PC Shipments, Third Quarter 2015 (Preliminary)
(Shipments are in thousands of units)

                     
Vendor  

3Q15
Shipments

 

3Q15
Market
Share

 

3Q14
Shipments

 

3Q14
Market
Share

 

3Q15/3Q14
Growth

1. HP   4,969   28.7%   4,808   27.6%   3.4%
2. Dell   4,154   24.0%   4,169   23.9%   -0.4%
3. Apple   2,373   13.7%   2,336   13.4%   1.6%
4. Lenovo   2,281   13.2%   1,844   10.6%   23.7%
5. Toshiba   810   4.7%   945   5.4%   -14.3%
Others   2,704   15.6%   3,316   19.0%   -18.4%
Total   17,293   100.0%   17,417   100.0%   -0.7%
         

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, October 8, 2015

Table Notes:

  • Some IDC estimates prior to financial earnings reports.
  • Shipments include shipments to distribution channels or end users. OEM sales are counted under the vendor/brand under which they are sold.
  • PCs include Desktops, Portables, Ultraslim Notebooks, Chromebooks, and Workstations and do not include handhelds, x86 Servers and Tablets (i.e. iPad, or Tablets with detachable keyboards running either Windows or Android). Data for all vendors are reported for calendar periods.

IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker gathers PC market data in over 80 countries by vendor, form factor, brand, processor brand and speed, sales channel and user segment. The research includes historical and forecast trend analysis as well as price band and installed base data.

For more information, or to subscribe to the research, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or knagamine@idc.com.

About IDC Trackers
IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools. The IDC Tracker Charts app allows users to view data charts from the most recent IDC Tracker products on their iPhone and iPad. The IDC Tracker Chart app is also available for Android Phones and Android Tablets.

About IDC
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.

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Contacts

IDC
Jay Chou, 650-350-6464
jchou@idc.com
or
Loren Loverde, 305-351-3115
lloverde@idc.com
or
Linn Huang
lhuang@idc.com
or
Michael Shirer, 508-935-4200
press@idc.com

Release Summary

Worldwide PC shipments totaled nearly 71.0 million units in the third quarter of 2015 (3Q15), according to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

Contacts

IDC
Jay Chou, 650-350-6464
jchou@idc.com
or
Loren Loverde, 305-351-3115
lloverde@idc.com
or
Linn Huang
lhuang@idc.com
or
Michael Shirer, 508-935-4200
press@idc.com