Gstudio Group - Fotolia

Gartner reports seventh consecutive quarter of declining PC sales

Analysts say strong dollar is forcing up hardware prices in just about every region outside of the United States

Gartner today published its quarterly global PC sales figures and it makes for largely gloomy reading. Worldwide PC shipments totalled 64.3m units in the second quarter of 2016, a 5.2% decline from the second quarter of 2015.

The results mark the seventh consecutive quarter of global PC shipment declines. Gartner placed the blame squarely on price hikes due to the disparity between a strong US dollar and virtually every other currency.

“One of the ongoing problems in the PC market has been the price hike in selected regions due to the weakening local currency against the U.S. dollar," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "The price issue has impacted the EMEA and Latin America regions for the past year. However, PC shipment declines became rather modest in the second quarter compared with previous quarters, which suggests a fading currency impact.”

"All regions except North America experienced a PC shipment decline. The Latin America region was still very weak largely because of political and economic instability. PC shipments in Latin America are expected to fall below 5 million units for the second quarter of 2016, which is a decline of more than 20 percent from the second quarter of 2015. These shipment results would be some of the lowest in the history of the Latin America PC industry."

Brexit didn’t have much of a chance to screw up Q2 for EMEA, but Gartner analysts warned that market uncertainty, and a weak pound, would likely effect shipping figures in the coming quarters.

Looking at market share, Lenovo maintained pole position despite a 2.2% decline year over year, with a 27% share of the market. This marked the fifth consecutive quarter of global PC shipment declines for Chinese behemoth.

HP returned to positive growth after four consecutive quarters of shipment decline, putting it just one percentage point behind Lenovo.

Despite remaining some way off the two market leaders, Dell witnessed more growth in the quarter than any of its rivals, increasing shipments by 3.1%.

For all intents and purposes, Asus, Apple and Acer came in joint fourth position, with less than one percent between them.

"While vendors and channels generally have more optimistic expectations of PC sales compared with the past, there is still a chance to have a potential inventory built,” said Kitagawa. “This will depend on how PC market demand picks up in the second half of this year for both the business and consumer segments."

"The second and third quarter are typically PC buying season for the US public sectors. Positive second-quarter results could suggest healthy PC sales activities among the public sectors. There is an opportunity for a Windows 10 refresh among businesses, which we expect to see more toward the end of 2016 to the beginning of 2017."


Read more on Desktop PCs