Gartner Says 2016 Marked Fifth Consecutive Year of Worldwide PC Shipment Decline

PC Industry Ended the Year with 3.7 Percent Decline in 4Q16
Shipments

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Worldwide PC shipments totaled 72.6 million units in the fourth quarter
of 2016, a 3.7 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2015,
according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. For the year, 2016 PC
shipments totaled 269.7 million units, a 6.2 percent decline from 2015.
PC shipments have declined annually since 2012.

“Stagnation in the PC market continued into the fourth quarter of 2016
as holiday sales were generally weak due to the fundamental change in PC
buying behavior,” said Mikako
Kitagawa
, principal analyst at Gartner. “The broad PC market has
been static as technology improvements have not been sufficient to drive
real market growth. There have been innovative form factors like 2-in-1s
and thin and light notebooks, as well as technology improvements, such
as longer battery life. This end of the market has grown fast, led by
engaged PC users who put high priority on PCs. However, the market
driven by PC enthusiasts is not big enough to drive overall market
growth.”

“There is the other side of the PC market, where PCs are infrequently
used. Consumers in this segment have high dependency on smartphones, so
they stretch PC life cycles longer. This side of the market is much
bigger than the PC enthusiast segment; thus, steep declines in the
infrequent PC user market offset the fast growth of the PC enthusiast
market.”

Ms. Kitagawa said that although the overall PC market will see
stagnation, there are growth opportunities within the market, such as
the engaged PC user market, the business market and gaming. However,
these growth areas will not prevent the overall decline of the PC
market, at least in the next year.

Four of the top six vendors experienced an increase in worldwide PC
shipments in the fourth quarter of 2016 (see Table 1). The top three
vendors all increased their global market share in the fourth quarter.
Lenovo maintained the No. 1 position, as the company experienced
shipment increases in North America and EMEA, while Asia/Pacific and
Japan continued to be challenging markets.

Table 1

Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for
4Q16 (Thousands of Units)

Company

 

4Q16
Shipments

 

4Q16 Market
Share (%)

 

4Q15
Shipments

 

4Q15 Market
Share (%)

 

4Q16-4Q15
Growth (%)

Lenovo   15,781   21.7   15,535   20.6   1.6
HP Inc. 14,808 20.4 14,204 18.8 4.3
Dell 10,723 14.8 10,175 13.5 5.4
Asus 5,452 7.5 5,960 7.9 -8.5
Apple 5,440 7.5 5,312 7.0 2.4
Acer Group 4,999 6.9 5,228 6.9 -4.4
Others 15,408 21.2 18,970 25.2 -18.8
Total   72,611   100.0   75,384   100.0   -3.7
Notes: Data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs and ultramobile
premiums (such as Microsoft Surface), but not Chromebooks or iPads.
All data is estimated based on a preliminary study. Final estimates
will be subject to change. The statistics are based on shipments
selling into channels.
Source: Gartner (January 2017)

HP remained in the second position, and it has recorded three
consecutive quarters of shipment growth. HP secured the top position in
PC shipments in the U.S. and EMEA, growing faster than the regional
averages.

Dell also registered three consecutive quarters of shipment growth in
4Q16. Dell continued to place PCs as a strategic business segment in
commercial and consumer markets during 2016. Asus suffered the steepest
decline among the top six vendors in the fourth quarter of 2016. Asus
has been shifting its PC strategy more toward the high-end market, which
will allow it to maintain better profit margins. Gartner analysts said
the falling shipment volume could be the cause of this strategy shift.

In the U.S., PC shipments totaled 16.5 million units in the fourth
quarter of 2016, a 1.3 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2015
(see Table 2). Five of the top six vendors in the U.S. PC market
experienced a shipment increase in the fourth quarter of 2016. However,
this was offset by a 20.9 percent decline in the Others category, and a
48.3 percent decline in shipments by Asus.

“Similar to low-key back to school sales in 3Q16, big sales events, such
as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and holiday sales are no longer effective
marketing opportunities for PCs since PC purchases are generally driven
by a ‘need,’ rather than ‘want,’ motivation,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “PCs
are not a preferred gift item any longer, as consumers gravitate toward
other consumer electronics, such as virtual personal assistant (VPA)
speakers, virtual reality (VR) head-mounted devices, and wearables.
Vendors and channels did not have high expectations for the holiday PC
sales, so the marketing campaigns remained relatively quiet.”

Table 2

Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q16
(Thousands of Units)

Company

 

4Q16
Shipments

 

4Q16 Market
Share (%)

 

4Q15
Shipments

 

4Q15 Market
Share (%)

 

4Q16-4Q15
Growth (%)

HP Inc.   4,945   29.9   4,577   27.3   8.0
Dell 4,157 25.2 4,081 24.4 1.9
Lenovo 2,282 13.8 2,105 12.6 8.4
Apple 2,111 12.8 1,984 11.8 6.4
Acer Group 662 4.0 596 3.6 11.2
Asus 621 3.8 1,201 7.2 -48.3
Others 1,740 10.5 2,199 13.1 -20.9
Total   16,518   100.0   16,743   100.0   -1.3
Notes: Data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs and ultramobile
premiums (such as Microsoft Surface), but not Chromebooks or iPads.
All data is estimated based on a preliminary study. Final estimates
will be subject to change. The statistics are based on shipments
selling into channels.
Source: Gartner (January 2017)

PC shipments in EMEA surpassed 21.9 million units in the fourth quarter
of 2016, a 3.4 percent decline year over year. PC shipments to the
consumer market were driven by good Black Friday sales in Western
European countries, such as the U.K. and France, especially on
traditional notebooks, ultramobile clamshells, the hybrid form factor
and gaming PCs. Gartner’s early estimates also show PC shipment growth
in the business segment, led by Windows 10 deployments during the fourth
quarter.

The Asia/Pacific PC market totaled 24.8 million units in the fourth
quarter of 2016, a 3.9 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2015.
The PC market was affected by two major events. First, the
demonetization of the Indian currency in India led to
weaker-than-expected consumer PC demand. Second, the success of China’s
11.11 (Singles Day on 11 November) online shopping event gave a boost to
consumer notebook sales.

For the year, worldwide PC shipments totaled 269.7 million units in 2016
(see Table 3). 2016 shipment totals were at the same levels as shipments
in 2007. Market consolidation escalated in 2016 as the top three vendors
(Lenovo, HP and Dell) accounted for 54.7 percent of worldwide PC
shipments in 2016, up from 51.5 percent in 2015.

Table 3

Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for
2016 (Thousands of Units)

Company

 

2016
Shipments

 

2016 Market
Share (%)

 

2015
Shipments

 

2015 Market
Share (%)

 

2016-2015
Growth (%)

Lenovo   55,888   20.7   57,274   19.9   -2.4
HP Inc. 52,458 19.4 52,548 18.3 -0.2
Dell 39,378 14.6 38,371 13.3 2.6
Asus 20,613 7.6 21,157 7.4 -2.6
Apple 18,612 6.9 20,377 7.1 -8.7
Acer Group 18,276 6.8 20,291 7.1 -9.9
Others 64,492 23.9 77,657 27.0 -17.0
Total   269,717   100.0   287,675   100.0   -6.2
Notes: Data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs and ultramobile
premiums (such as Microsoft Surface), but not Chromebooks or iPads.
All data is estimated based on a preliminary study. Final estimates
will be subject to change. The statistics are based on shipments
selling into channels.
Source: Gartner (January 2017)

These results are preliminary. Final statistics will be available soon
to clients of Gartner’s PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region
program. This program offers a comprehensive and timely picture of the
worldwide PC market, allowing product planning, distribution, marketing
and sales organizations to keep abreast of key issues and their future
implications around the globe.

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE:IT) is the world’s leading information technology
research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technology-related
insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every
day. From CIOs and senior information technology (IT) leaders in
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interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual
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has almost 9,000 associates, including 1,900 research analysts and
consultants, operating in more than 90 countries. For more information,
visit www.gartner.com.

Contacts

Gartner
Christy Pettey, +1-408-709-8220
christy.pettey@gartner.com

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