PC shipments grew towards end of 2014

PC sales reached 83.7 million in the final quarter of 2014, displaying continued improvement in the sector, says Gartner

PC sales reached 83.7 million in the final quarter of 2014, displaying continued improvement in the sector, according to analyst Gartner.

The market increased by 1% year-on-year after a period of stabilisation – the first positive growth the sector has seen in two years. 

According to Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa, this shift back to PCs has been the result of device saturation in other markets as consumers finish buying up the supplementary devices they need.

“However, there are regional variations. Mostly, mature regions show an ongoing trend of positive growth, but emerging markets remain weak,” said Kitagawa.

“The US showed the highest growth in the fourth quarter of 2014. The Western Europe PC market also showed good consumer sales. Emerging markets, on the other hand, still showed weak PC growth.”

PCs have not won the war, as smartphone uptake dominates emerging markets, leaving no room for desktops in these regions.

International CES 2015 sparked a debate over whether mature and emerging markets should be labelled as such in reference to the sale of smartphones, due to the growing use of technology in the emerging markets.

Lenovo has not escaped this trend, and although it secured the global top spot – with 19.4% of the market in the fourth quarter of 2014 – it was unable to retain positive growth in Latin America and Japan.

HP managed to close the gap between itself and Lenovo at the end of 2014, securing second place globally, with 18.8% of the market and a total of 15,769 shipments for the quarter.

Where the PC market witnessed growth, the majority can be attributed to portable computers such as notebooks and lightbooks, as well as adaptable laptop/tablet combinations.

It is uncertain how long this trend will continue, as smartphone sales are set to grow again in maturing areas, with Deloitte predicting that 90% of phones sold in the UK in 2015 will go to existing smartphone users.

Bring your own device (BYOD) strategies are also contributing to the slowing of the PC market as portable devices outnumber traditional desktops in the workplace, with Dell claiming devices such as tablets are now standard in the UK workplace.

Earlier hikes in PC market sales in 2014 were attributed to Microsoft ending the support of its operating system Windows XP, leading to a number of sporadic system upgrades.

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