PC Sales Falling

Figures from Gartner and IDC show that, apart from the three big vendors, sales of PCs fell in 2016, with technology improvements and innovations proving to be not strong enough motivators to stop the downward trend.

Fifth Year Running

According to Gartner figures, the fall in PC sales is part of a downward trend that’s been going on for the last five years. The last quarter of 2016 saw sales dip by 3.7%, and PC sales fell globally in 2016 by 6.2% to a still quite impressive 269.7 million unit shipments.

Why the Fall in Sales?

The PC market appears to be feeling the effects of a change in consumer behaviour and technology commentators broadly agree that there are two main reasons why PC sales are still in decline:

  1. Smart-phones and apps. The now wide-scale ownership of smart-phones, and the growth in app development has meant that many people now use their smart-phone for things they would have used a PC for several years ago.
  2. Technology improvements are not enough. The technology improvements in PCs in recent years have not been sufficient to stimulate growth in sales. Even the development of 2-in-1s, thinner and lighter notebooks, big improvements in battery life, the introduction of Intel’s Skylake microprocessors, virtual reality (VR), and the launch of Nvidia 10-series graphics cards have all failed to become big enough motivators to reverse the downward trend.

The launch of Apple’s new MacBooks did, however, prove to be a strong enough attraction to buck the trend slightly with 2.4% increase in shipments in the last quarter of 2016.

Bigger Manufacturers Winning Market Share

However, sales of PCs have been growing in recent years for the ‘Big 3’ manufacturers who have essentially been taking market share from other, smaller manufacturers rather than finding new, untapped markets. Lenovo, for example, increased its already leading market share by 1.6 per cent to 21.7%.

HP and Dell also gained ground to take 20.4% and 14.8% market share respectively. Figures indicate that growth in market share for these 3 companies may have been at the expense of Asus, Apple and Acer who all saw declines in unit shipments last year.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

Consumer habits are changing as we favour mobile devices over traditional PCs. Although PCs are still important to many businesses (PC sales are still strong for the business sector and gamers), a move to the cloud, collaborative working, trends like BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) and more developments in mobile technology will continue to see businesses moving more towards mobile device options for staff.

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