Gartner has reported that PC sales in the second quarter of 2015 suffered the biggest slump in nearly two years, declining by 9.5 percent compared with a year earlier.
This is the biggest slide in seven quarters, and the analyst predicted that sales will see a further reduction of 4.4 percent for 2015.
Some 68.4 million PC units were shipped the second quarter, compared with 75.5 million in the same quarter in 2014.
Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, attributed the decline to several factors, including the fact that the sale bump the end of support for Windows XP caused has now ended.
"The price hike of PCs became more apparent in some regions due to a sharp appreciation of the US dollar against local currencies. The price hike could hinder PC demand in these regions," he said.
"Secondly, the worldwide PC market experienced unusually positive desk-based growth last year due to the end of Windows XP support. After the XP impact was phased out, there have not been any major growth drivers to stimulate a PC refresh.
"Lastly, Windows 10 has created self-regulated inventory control. PC vendors and the channels tried clearing inventory as much as possible before the Windows 10 launch."
Top PC vendors HP, Lenovo, Dell, Asus and Acer all suffered declining shipments compared with 2014.
Kitagawa said that the drop was also down to relatively large sales of PCs in the second quarter of 2014 driven by the end of XP support.
As such, PC shipments for the same quarter this year were always going to struggle to match the performance of a year earlier.
Despite the declining sales and dim forecast for 2015, Gartner said that the slowdown is temporary and the PC market is expected to return to slow but steady growth in 2016.
Fellow analyst IDC is not so positive. The firm's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker signalled an 11.8 percent year-on-year decline in PC sales to 66.1 million units.
IDC agreed that the sales slump is down to strong sales in 2014 driven by migration from machines running Windows XP.
Loren Loverde, vice president of Worldwide PC trackers and forecasting at IDC, said that the slowdown in sales matches expectations.
"We continue to expect low- to mid-single-digit declines in volume during the second half of the year with volume stabilising in future years," he said.
"We're expecting the Windows 10 launch to go relatively well, though many users will opt for a free OS upgrade rather than buying a new PC.
"Competition from 2-in-1 devices and phones remains an issue, but the economic environment has had a larger impact lately, and that should stabilise or improve going forward."
Digging into the figures reported by IDC, the culprit of the decline appears to be Windows, as Apple was the only vendor to enjoy growth in shipments, which numbered 2.2 million representing 16.1 percent growth over the quarter a year earlier.
It could be deduced that people are less than keen to opt for a new laptop or desktop with Windows 8 when Windows 10 is due for release on 29 July, even if Microsoft is giving some people free access to the new operating system.
Despite the unhealthy look of the PC market in 2015, HP believes that the imminent release of Windows 10 will inspire people to buy a new PC.
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