PC sales fell by as much as 10 percent in 2015 compared with 2014 as vendors such as HP, Dell, Lenovo and Acer saw shipments decline, according to similar data from analyst houses IDC and Gartner.
In particular, the launch of Windows 10 did not provide the boost to sales that had been hoped, in part because the free upgrade offered to Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 device owners meant that many did not need to buy a new machine.
Gartner estimated that worldwide PC shipments in 2015 totalled 288 million, an eight percent decline on the 313 million shipped in 2014.
Meanwhile, IDC claimed an even bigger drop of 10.4 percent, from 308 million in 2014 to 276 million in 2015.
Linn Huang, IDC's research director for devices and displays, explained that the free Windows 10 upgrade put many off buying a new device, but that those who did splash out may have been tempted by the iPad Pro.
“The launch of the iPad Pro may have syphoned off some consumer interest in traditional PCs," he said.
However, the outlook is brighter for 2016, according to Loren Loverde, vice president of IDC's Worldwide PC Tracker.
"Commercial adoption of Windows 10 is expected to accelerate, and consumer buying should also stabilise by the second half of the year. Most PC users have delayed an upgrade, but can only maintain this for so long before facing security and performance issues,” he said.
Lenovo out in front, but Apple grows
Lenovo led the overall PC market in 2015 with 57 million shipments, a 3.1 percent decline on 58 million in 2014 based on Gartner data, representing 19.8 percent of the market.
HP, now HP Inc, came second with 52 million shipments, giving it an 18.2 percent share, while Dell was third with 39 million shipments. Asus took fourth place with 21 million shipments, followed by Apple with 20 million.
Interestingly, Apple was the only vendor to see growth in 2015 with a 5.8 percent increase on 2014.
IDC also posted similar figures for Apple. Jay Chou, a research manager on the Worldwide PC Tracker stats, described this as proof that there is a market for high-end PC and laptop devices.
"Apple's emergence as a top five global PC vendor in 2015 shows that there can be strong demand for innovative, even premium-priced systems that put user experience first," he said.
Microsoft will no doubt hope that this proves the case with the Surface Book, which is now on order in the UK with prices topping out at a whopping £2,250.
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