Research firms Gartner and IDC both released reports this week looking at PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2014. While the reports don’t quite agree on the exact numbers of PCs shipped, they do both suggest one thing: things aren’t look as bad as they had been for the past few quarters.

According to Gartner, there was a 1 percent increase in shipments over the same period a year ago. IDC calculated a 2.4 percent decline… but says that was lower than the 4.8 percent decline that had been expected.

gartner pc shipments

Both reports suggest Lenovo shipped more computers than any other company, followed by HP, Dell, and Acer. There seems to be a bit of dispute over which company came in 5th place, but it’s either Asus or Apple.

There’s also some disagreement about what makes a device a “PC.” Gartner excludes Chromebooks and tablets that don’t run Windows, while IDC includes Chromebooks but not tablets (even if they do run Windows).

idc pc shipments

The reports agree that the growing number of low-cost systems including notebooks priced at $200 to $300 helped stem the decline in PC shipments.

But it’s also worth noting that these reports track shipments, not sales — it’s possible that many of the devices PC makers shipped to stores are still sitting unsold on the shelves.

Analysts also suggest that tablet shipments might have peaked in 2013 — and that people are now turning back to notebooks and other PCs. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re dissatisfied with tablets, but it could mean tablet owners still prefer a traditional PC for some activities, and that they don’t feel the need to replace their existing tablets very often.

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10 replies on “PC market shows signs of recovery”

  1. “This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re dissatisfied with tablets, but it could mean tablet owners still prefer a traditional PC for some activities, and that they don’t feel the need to replace their existing tablets very often.”

    So nice that we have these analysts to point out the bleeding obvious. Shame they weren’t around a few years ago, to point out that people buying tablets didn’t mean they were dissatisfied with PCs, just that tablets were a device that people were buying as well, and there was no longer any need to replace their existing PCs very often. Instead it was all “OMG PCs are dying”. If we applied that logic now, we’d be concluding that tablets are dying, and in 10 years everything will be done from a watch.

    The fact that they can’t properly distinguish between PCs and tablets just shows the problem further. Consider that it’s far easier to draw a line between laptops and desktops, but they still get lumped together as “PCs”.

  2. What you’ve been seeing is governments, large corporations and collages getting discounts and even free license upgrades to migrate from 8 just before 10 lands.

  3. I don’t know anyone that just buys a pre-built OEM-assembled PCs anymore. The assembly of a self-built computer isn’t rocket science. Many people prefer the options. And more often than not, the pre-build PC’s are actually more expensive than if you just bought the parts separately and upgraded to a cooler looking tower. The majority of the buyers are probably the corporate buyers buying in bulk. But what you can buy from BestBuy and such just really isn’t worth it anymore.

      1. I bought a new Acer Laptop last xmas for $220, I do know how to build a PC myself but I’m kinda lazy too.

        Sometimes it’s not worth the effort to put together a PC when u can find a cheap new model if u only need it to browse the web and watch Youtube mostly.

        That is all.

        1. Yeah, I was talking about PC.. not laptops. You can’t put together a laptop. This article is talking about PC’s in contrast with laptops/tablets.

          1. I don’t think so Homer, Read again.

            GARTNER: Data includes Desk based, NOTEBOOKS, ULTRAMOBILES and Windows TABLETS.
            IDC: includes CHROMEBOOKS.

            There u go. XD

          2. It doesn’t matter. The number of people who build their own PCs will always be tiny compared with those to prefer to buy a system off the shelf. The vast majority of PC desktop users don’t know one end of a motherboard from the other. It’s simply ridiculous to claim that everyone should be building their own systems.

            You really think the average user wants to spend hours shopping for compatible parts — making sure the version of the i5 processor they’re ordering is compatible with the motherboard they bought, ensuring the power supply will provide enough juice for the components they bought, making sure the case they bought will fit everything inside it?

            And that’s all before they switch on the machine and the screen remains dead. What are they supposed to do then? Troubleshoot a bunch of components they know next-to-nothing about? How are they supposed to know if it’s the processor or the motherboard, or the video card that failed? They would be completely dead in the water, and their only realistic option would be to pay a professional to look at it — thus blowing all the savings they had made by going DIY.

    1. I disagree. When you can go online and purchase a full PC that I can run most of your basic office software and includes Windows, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive etc. for $200-300 or less, nobody is going to build their own except for hobbyists and gamers (who are sometimes one-in-the-same). Those are, by far, the vast minority of computer users in the world. Most people buy off the shelf PCs or laptops.

  4. There are some things best done on a large screen. Such as watch movies, do research papers, design graphics, and work on spreadsheets.

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