Worldwide PC shipments totalled 71.7 million units in the first quarter of 2015, a 5.2 per cent decline from the first quarter of 2014, according to preliminary results by Gartner.
"The PC industry received a boost in 2014 as many companies replaced their PCs due to the end of Windows XP support, but that replacement cycle faded in the first quarter of 2015," says Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst, Gartner.
“However, this decline is not necessarily a sign of sluggish overall PC sales long term. Mobile PCs, including notebooks, hybrid and Windows tablets, grew compared with a year ago.
“The first quarter results support our projection of a moderate decline of PC shipments in 2015, which will lead to a slow, consistent growth stage for the next five years.
“Desk-based PC shipments declined rapidly, with business desk-based PCs being impacted the most. Mobile PCs are being driven by a separate underlying replacement cycle, which led mobile growth in the first quarter.
“PC replacements will be driven by thin and light notebooks with tablet functionality. Our early study suggests strong growth of hybrid notebooks, especially in mature markets, in 1Q15.”
Lenovo and HP were the only two vendors among the top five worldwide that experienced an increase in PC shipments in the first quarter of 2015.
Lenovo experienced its strongest growth in EMEA and the US - it has become one of the top providers of hybrid notebooks, especially its Yoga line in mature markets.
Meanwhile, HP performed moderately well in the first quarter, and it kept its top position in the U.S. and EMEA. HP also increased share in the US, but in EMEA the share delta from Lenovo, the second-largest vendor in the region, narrowed compared with 4Q14.
For the first time in six quarters, Dell experienced a worldwide PC shipment decline compared with a year ago. Dell was one of the vendors that benefited from replacement purchases due to the end of Windows XP support in 2014, but sales slowed as the replacement cycle faded.
In the U.S., PC shipments totalled 13.9 million units in the first quarter of 2015, a 1.3 per cent decline from the first quarter of 2014 - this was the first shipment decline in the US after four consecutive quarters of shipment growth in 2014.
"The first quarter results are not a sign doom for the U.S. market," Kitagawa adds.
"The biggest reason for the decline of PC shipments in the U.S. was attributed to the desktop market, which experienced a double-digit decline.
“This was primarily due to the end of the Windows XP replacement cycle. In contrast, mobile PC shipments in the US continued to show year-over-year growth, and early results show this segment could have grown approximately 10 percent in the first quarter of 2015.”
HP extended its lead in the U.S. market, as it accounted for 26.1 per cent of shipments. Lenovo and ASUS showed the strongest growth among the top five vendors in the US, with shipment increases of 13.5 and 10.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2015.
Meanwhile, Asia/Pacific PC shipments surpassed 24.3 million units in the first quarter of 2015, a 1.2 per cent decline from the same period last year.
The China PC market continues to drag down the overall regional average. In China, both consumer and commercial segments continue to be cautious with PC purchases.
Desk-based PC shipments in Asia/Pacific declined 5.2 per cent in the first quarter, but mobile PCs grew 3.7 per cent.