Market researcher Gartner Inc. estimates in its preliminary results that the global PC shipment has declined by 5.2% in 1Q 2015 as compared to the year-ago quarter. A total of 71.73 million PC units were shipped in 1Q 2015 and Lenovo took the lead by selling one out of every five PCs sold during the quarter.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) declared the end of support to Windows XP in 2014, which created a positive impact as PC replacement happened rapidly. This had given a boost to the PC industry in the previous year. However, in the first quarter of 2015, this replacement went into oblivion resulting in a dip in the global PC shipment. Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner observes that this decline is not a sign of continued slow PC sales. On the contrary, sales of mobile PCs that include notebooks, Windows Tablets and hybrid has picked up in comparison to the previous year’s first quarter.
Some of the important highlights of the preliminary report on Global PC shipments for 1Q 2015 are:
- Desk-based PCs are being replaced by Mobile PCs (thin and light notebooks that integrate the functionality of a tablet). This is driving the growth of mobile PCs.
- Of all PC vendors, Lenovo and HP have seen a considerable increase in the PC shipment. Lenovo’s total shipment in Q1 2015 went up by 5.7% from 1Q 2014 while HP’s saw a 2.5% increase in the same period.
- In the US and EMEA market, Lenovo had the strongest growth. In US market, Lenovo PC shipment went up by 13.5% (1Q 2014-1Q 2015).
- Dell experienced a fall in its PC shipments for the first time in six quarters. When Windows XP support ended, Dell was one of the vendors whose sales went up to a great extent. However, the sales started seeing a parabolic movement once the replacement hype was over.
- In the US, 13.9 million PC units have been shipped in the first quarter of 2015. It experienced a 1.3% fall from the previous year.
- HP has taken the lead in US market accounting for almost 26.1 percent of the total shipments in the first quarter of this year. Lenovo and Asus have seen the maximum increase in PC shipments with 13.5 percent and 10.8 percent respectively in Q1 2015.
- In Europe, Middle East and Africa region, PC shipments fell by 4.4 percent from Q1 2014, with a total of 21.76 million units being shipped in Q1 2015.
- In the APAC region, PC shipment crossed 24.3 million units in the first quarter of this year. However, the PC shipment in APAC region experienced a dip by 1.2% from the previous year in the same quarter.
Quarter-over-Quarter Global PC shipment
PC shipment worldwide reached 76.6 million units in the first quarter of 2014, while in the second quarter it fell to 75.8 million units. In the third quarter of 2014, shipment picked up to 79.4 million units and the growth continued in the fourth quarter with 83.7 million units, thanks to the holiday season.
In the last one year PC market has taken a hit due to the rise of smartphone, tablets and ulttramobile. In the third quarter of 2014, total PC shipment went up due to the increased demand for tablets, the tablet penetration had reached 40-50 percent during the quarter. Customers who did not have a PC were more prone to buy a low-priced tablet that had equal functions of a desk-based PC. The adoption of tablets and notebooks since the third quarter has propelled the increase in PC shipment, although a very slow growth.
The US Market is mobile-PC driven
In the Q1 2015, for the US market, Gartner predicts a steady two-digit year-over-year decline of the desktop market. In Q1 2014, the total PC shipment was 14.1 million units, which fell to 13.9 million units in Q1 2015. But mobile PC shipment grew year-over-year by almost 10 percent.
In the last quarter of 2014, Lenovo led the US market with 19.4 percent share, followed by HP at 18.8% share. However, in the first quarter of 2015, Gartner projects HP to take the lead with 26.1 percent share while Lenovo accounts for only 11.8 percent share.
EMEA Market analysis
After almost eight quarters of decline, the PC shipments in EMEA region totaled 22.9 million units in Q1 2014, a 0.3% year-over-year increase. In Q1 2015, the number of PC shipped fell to 21.7 million units, a year-over-year decline of 4.4 percent. The devaluation of euro zone currency in the region against dollar resulted in this dip. However, Gartner predicts the prices to pick up in the second quarter of 2015. The EMEA market has witnessed various trends. While desk-based PC sales declined rapidly, mobile PC shipment picked up in volume this year.
India and China market are smartphone oriented
In the APAC region, mobile PCs grew by 3.7 percent while desk-based PCs declined by 5.2 percent (Q1 2015). It has been projected that China PC market is cautious with PC purchase. Consumers are more attracted to smartphones, which is making PC vendors difficult to convince consumers to purchase a PC.
Ms. Kitagawa observed that in APAC regions especially China and India, users’ purchasing decision is backed by their need for content consumption. Since all of their needs are being fulfilled by low-priced, power-packed smartphones, they are not very keen to spend more amount on a PC.
Gartner predicts that the total PC shipment will continue to grow slowly for the next five years. Since the transition from desk-based PC to mobile PC is happening steadily, thanks to internet penetration in Tier-II and Tier-III cities as well, the global PC shipment is being driven by notebooks, hybrids and tablets mainly.