The Strategist

PC sales keep dropping as users increasingly prefer smartphones

01/12/2017 - 14:06

According to research firm Gartner, PC sales fell by 6.2% in 2016, the fifth consecutive year of slumping. IDC’s report posted yesterday confirms this data. In the company’s estimates, sales fell by 5.7%. However, the experts are optimistic. They believe that since the market of smartphones and tablets is slowing down and need to update old PCs is growing, the computer market may cheer up.

Research companies Gartner and IDC published data on the PC market for 2016. Both companies reported yet another decrease in sales. According to Gartner’s analysts, PC sales in 2016 fell by 6.2% to 269.7 million. The market leaders are Lenovo (20,7% share), HP (19,4%) and Dell (14,6%). In the fourth quarter, sales also fell in comparison with the same period in 2015 by 3.7%. IDC, meanwhile, reported a decline in PC sales in 2016 by 5.7% to 260 million. According to IDC, PC sales only decreased by 1.5% in the fourth quarter.

Gartner’s analyst Mikako Kitagawa says: "Stagnation in the PC market continued in the fourth quarter of 2016 because the holidays sales were weak due to fundamental changes in computer buyers’ behavior of. PC market lacks movement as technological improvements are not enough to ensure real growth of the market ... there is not much of computer enthusiasts cause the growth of the market as a whole. There is another part of the PC market, where computers are rarely used. Customers in this segment are actively using smartphones, which increases service life of PCs."

At the same time, experts see a positive change. "The results of the fourth quarter strengthened our expectation of stabilization in the market and even some recovery. Slowdown in shipments of traditional PCs, which lasted five years, seems to be waning since users have to update their devices. There are good opportunities for growth in sales of traditional PCs in the commercial market. At the same time, the user segment can also liven up with less pressure from the slowing market of smartphones and tablets,"- said IDC’s vice president of tracking and forecasts for the PC market Loren Loverde, Program Vice President of IDC's Worldwide PC Tracker Program.

Recently, consulting company Deloitte also published its annual forecast. According to the company’s estimates, the tablet market in 2017 will continue to fall due to growing popularity of smartphones and laptops. Number of devices equipped with fingerprint reader will exceed 1 billion, DDoS-attacks will become bigger and sale of vinyl records will continue to grow, for the first time approaching $ 1 billion. The company presented these and other projections in its annual forecast on technology and telecommunications.