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PC shipments decline again in Q3 2015

Dell XPS 13
Dell XPS 13 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Research firms Gartner and IDC have both reported that PC shipments declined again in the third quarter, but Gartner notes that we may see a recovery in the global PC market sometime in 2016.

According to Gartner, PC shipments fell 7.7 percent to 73.7 million units in the third quarter. IDC's outlook is a little more grim, with the firm pointing to a 10.8 percent decline to 71 million units in the same period. Perhaps strikingly, although not totally unexpected, Gartner notes that the launch of Windows 10 didn't noticeably affect PC shipments, as most users seem to have opted to use the free upgrade on their existing PC.

The outlook isn't totally dark, however, as Gartner analysts note that there are "signs for future stabilization and growth," but that recovery isn't expected until sometime in 2016.

Source: The New York Times

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

59 Comments
  • No surprise. Most PC manufactures aren't shipping windows 10 on the majority of their devices yet.
  • Yup, most oem are just introduced their lines up.
  • The numbers are misleading. THEY DO NOT INCLUDE HYBRID DEVICES LIKE SURFACES.
  • They should include the 950 and 950XL since they are kind of hybrids now!
  • Are there any reports out there that actually include hybrids? I'm honestly seeing more and more of those everyday.
  • I don't know. I want to see them myself. I don't understand why they even bother with these number anymore if they are not including devices like Surface Pros which are real PCs.
  • Right 2 in 1 doubled since last year
  • I'm sure surface pricing will help pc sales skyrocket !!
  • As long as Windows 10 usage continues to increase, I'll be happy
  • A 7% decline is material. More windows 10 in a declining market isn't a good thing. We want the pc business to recover or stabilize to incentivize developers to hop on board.
  • If a developer scoffs at 70 mill for a quarter alone, not including people who built there own machines then said developer probably isn't worth anyone's time.
  • I feel the real reason is the unusually long life of PCs these days. My laptop is 4 years old and running windows 10 perfectly. Frankly, there's no pressing reason to upgrade, unless I just want a shiny new machine. On the other hand, I've used at least 4 different phones during the same period of time.
  • These so called analysts just can't clue into this fact, people don't need to replace their PC's as often as the old days. They also expect Microsoft to be a savior to a problem that doesn't exist. Declining use of PCs is the byproduct of the new age of mobile computing, it's time they change the way they track these things.
  • Pretty much this.
  • Yep. got an an ivybridge aw pulled out all the stops so its got alot of life aswell to bad dell has decided to only make driver/awcc available to haswell based aw laptops
  • At home what do you really use your PC for? Other than gaming, social, browsing, not much really.  All stuff you can do on your phone unless you do hardcore gaming.  This is the reason something like a future surface phone will greatly appeal to the masses.  Most people do all those things on their phone.  And of course if you work on your PC, continuum is still a solution. Of course unless you're doing hardcore graphics or other things.  Plus if you want to do it at a desk on a larger monitor, continuum helps.  So I can see why MS is going into that direction.  I have been using my pc a lot less since I got a bigger screen phone, and it's also why I want the 5.7inch 950xl. 
  • @Kaymd, I think you're spot on. I used to figure that a computer had a max life of about 4 years. By then, it was totally obsolete and the latest version of Windows would have been painfully slow on the relic. That's definitely not the case now. My 4 year old Core i7 desktop computer is fine. And if I switched it to full SSD (just has SSD boot/OS drive now, data still on HD), I'd get another big boost. I think there are 3 factors significantly extending life of PC's: Moore's Law defining the pace of CPU improvements has slowed (Anandtech chronicles this well). Further, the more recent CPU improvements are in the realm of power management and multitasking, not straight single-app performance. These improvements are less obvious and "important" to the typical user. With the rise of mobile and smaller devices, Microsoft has gotten aggressive at making their OS run on lesser hardware with a smaller footprint. This is the opposite of what they did through Vista/7, when each OS required more advanced hardware to deliver new features to users. As such, older computers remain relevant longer. SSD -- a comptuer that is starting to feel slow and maybe would have been updated to a whole new computer in years past, can be radically enhanced with the purchase of an SSD. While larger drives and more RAM have always been options, the move from HD to SSD is much more dramatic. Until all computers ship with SSD, this upgrade option also slows the pace of new PC purchases. So, there you have it.
  • There isn't actually a decline, as tablet and hybrid sales aren't counted in these "traditional device" figures... but are still unaccounted for in mobile OS figures, because they run full fat windows -_-
  • PC life span increases by yr. My 8 yrs old pC running just fine with window 8...no reason for me to upgrade.
  • Agree with you, i have 7 years old acer laptop still running well and now on windows 10. Sometime even better than current sub USD$200 budget laptop
  • Of course they decrease. And they will continue to decrease. Most people already own a PC and a PC is not something you buy every year. Not even every 2 or 3 years. And with some people nowadays relying on mobile to do what they did on the PC - browse the net - PC lifespans will just become even bigger.   I always build my own PC so I never really contribute to these numbers increasing or decreasing but, if I think about the SP3 for example...that's a device that I will likely use for the next 5 years at least. Because what I do in it doesn't require me to buy anything new before that (unless, of course, the thing suddenly and out of nowhere, breaks...)
  • so they are, but windows tablets and hybrids aren't accounted for in any figures... so while they boom, they aren't counted in these figures because they aren't a desktop or laptop, and aren't accounted for in mobile figures, because they run full fat windows... -_-
  • Hybrids not being included is a huge factor in the declines. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if sales of Windows devices have gone up, just the sales of traditional PCs have declined.
  • Well they are going to start waking up with the times as there are going to be alot more 2-in-1's in the future.
  • Are people still buying low end PCs that can't be upgraded?
  • Those are properly what have always had the biggest sales. Most people aren't gamers or hardware enthusiasts
  • If people are switching from a desktop to a PC or tablet that still runs Windows, does it really matter?
  • yes it does, as windows tablets and hybrids aren't counted in these figures, but also fail to be accounted for in mobile OS figures, because they run full fat windows... -_-
  • How do you know they aren't including Windows tablets and hybrids?
  • With earlier articles WC used to give us the near full tables and the numbers of units behind the tables. Chromebooks aren't counted either
  • I believe it was Gartner that said they don't include hybrids in PC sales, they lump them in tablets. IDC counts them though
  • So, is it safe to say that mobile devices will replace PC's someday? I get it that real work is done on PC. But, looking at Continuum, if Microsoft continues to focus on bridging the gap between mobile and desktop apps, could we see PC being replaced entirely with mobile?
  • I don't know how to react to these so called stats. Because everyone i know when there getting a new desktop, they are not buying a premade branded machine. Instead they building one or having one built for them. I can name a total of 17 for 2015 so far. Laptops and tablets are different of course. So maybe these people should look into PC parts being shipped as well? Just curious.
  • and they still don't count windows tablets and laptop hybrids in these figures, which are growing massively.... and these same devices aren't included in mobile OS figures with iOS and android because they run a desktop OS... I wish they'd stop ringing the death of the PC when its clearly not dying, they are just missing out a massive chunk of figures... makes you wonder who's paying them to do that! -_-
  • I actually think its about pc manufacturers not producing devices that people want. There is a real lack of variety and there are two many devices where manufactures expect users to pay above and beyond for something with a 1280*800 resolution screen. Expecting australian users to pay $500 australian plus for that resolution screen is ridiculous. Need to offer better mid range devices with good screens at a reasonable price.
  • What? Are you blind? There is more variety in types of PC's today than there has EVER been!
  • Are you in Australia? Because my comment was australia specific. If you were then you would see that here the options particularly mid range are quite limited compared to the USA. You go to store in Australia and its same old. You hear about an interesting device it either doesn't make it here or its overpriced with either an Australia tax even when the dollar was equal or above the USA. Now its overpriced because the australian dollar is lower then the USA. ​
  • It doesn't work that way anymore. PCs are lasting people longer. Lets just hope Windows 10 becomes popular.
  • 110 million Windows 10 PCs in 8 weeks is a fair indicator that it'll be popular.
  • If you want a future-proof machine the new devices aren't cheap ...
  • Does this include Surfaces? Because they are PCs, you know. It's the term "PC" what's geting old, not that people are not buying or using them. Note: an iPad is not a PC. Nowhere close.
  • I agree, they should measure Windows, iOS and Android shipments.
  • The annual worldwide market share of personal computer vendors includes desktop computers, laptop computers and netbooks, but not tablet computers.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_share_of_personal_computer_vendors Well, I think this definition will soon change to include tablets and 2-in-1s the like the Surface because when you buy PC nowadys it's about which form factor you prefer.
  • After all businesses clinging to Windows 7 start migration to Win 10 we will see a reverse news, PC shipments outpace tablets.
  • Not likely. PCs are BECOMING tablets.
  • Don't think so. The number doesn't include hybrids like surface. So false number.
  • Only 73 million in 3 months? Fuck, they're doomed :P
  • Yes it's funny how 73 mill in three months is too few. Can only be explained be the fact that most companies live to serve their stock holders rather than simply having a healthy business. You don't need growth every single day to stay healthy, that's just what you need to keep yours stock holders happy, so companies fire people to keep costs down, but a at the same time those people fired now can't buy the products so sales sales decline even more...
  • It's because there are no new PC's and people are still waiting for 6th gen intel chips.
  • Nerds are waiting for the new chips. The common consumer couldn't care less
  • No, its because this figure doesn't include all full pcs. Surfaces, Lenovo etc hybrids aren't included. Even though they are full pcs.
  • 70 million is not a bad thing, also, PC counts tablets? or something almost a tablet but still hybrids like surface? anyway, all I care is windows 10 usage increases and it will, because that will bring universal apps, which means it will bring apps to xbox and mobile as well.
  • Microsoft as shown something new like Surface book which tends other OEMs to build high bread PCs which will help increasing the PC market.
  • Beer from the Costa la langosta en el Viernes de puta madre :)
  • Do this numbers include Tablet PCs?
  • Nope. No tablets or hybrids or phones.
  • Of course who will buy a new pc if i can upgrade for free to w10 my current one?
  • These stats are pretty much pointless.
  • Hybrid devices aren't included in these figures. Which is wrong. That means all of surface hardware, Lenovos, acers etc etc all aren't included even though they are fully fledged pcs. If anything including all full pcs, its actually on a 23% increase. Surface pro gas been gaing good traction.