Researchers at Gartner and IDC have released separate reports that reach the same basic conclusion: PC sales in the first quarter of 2015 were lower than during the same period a year earlier.

But the reports aren’t all bad news for computer makers: A few companies also shipped more computers this year, and the launch of Windows 10 later this year could give the Windows PC market a bit of a boost.

lenovo thinkpad x1 carbon_01

Both Gartner and IDC estimate that Lenovo and HP shipped more computers in the first few months of 2015 than they did in the same time period in 2014.

Apple also reportedly shipped more computers during that period: but while Apple is one of the top PC sellers in the US, the company doesn’t ship enough of its Mac systems globally to make the worldwide top 5 lists.

Meanwhile Acer, Asus, and Dell all so declines… although it’s worth noting that all of these companies are ramping up their efforts to expand into the mobile space with smartphones, Windows and Android tablets, and other devices that aren’t counted in one or both of the reports.

IDC and Gartner also leave Chromebooks out of their PC shipment estimates.

So what can we expect as 2015 progresses? It’s hard to say for certain, but while Windows 10 will be available as a free software update for anyone running Windows 7 or later, PC makers will likely take advantage of the launch of Microsoft’s next-gen operating system to launch new hardware that takes advantage of features like “continuum” to offer a better experience on 2-in-1 tablet/notebook hybrids.

Intel is also encouraging system builders to create 2-in-1 computers and other portable machines based on its Atom, Braswell, Core M, and other Broadwell chips… and later this year Intel’s 6th-gen Skylake processors should lead to another round of hardware launches.

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9 replies on “PC shipments dropped last quarter, but there were winners and losers”

  1. well tablets have gotten to the point where you can have a basic machine with a decent 7 inch screen capable of everyday tasks for $50… did they really think they’d sell a lot of PCs after that? Even I am using one with my HDTV for basic streaming..

  2. Only time will tell whether the “Waiting For Godot” crowd really exists in significant numbers and machines shipping with Windows 10 make any difference. After all, Microsoft just announced that Windows 10 Threshold is already scheduled to be replaced in 2016 by Redstone. They seem to think following the cell phone path of rapid churn will somehow help them, but they may just be costing OEMs one of their biggest “carrots” in luring repeat buyers.
    I think the great unwashed do indeed update Windows by new machine purchase, though I am completely unconvinced that a new Windows actually sells that many machines. High Windows churn may do little but delay new purchases, especially since so many felt burned by the Windows 8 fiasco.

    1. redstone will most likely be 10.1, so it’s business as usual, not rapid churn.

      1. I do. HP has been my go-to PC manufacturer for a long time. I’ve been happy with every computer that I’ve bought. I’m glad to see them doing better now that they have a competent CEO.

  3. Many non-tech types are afraid to upgrade their OS or don’t know it can be done. I expect to see a boost in desktop and laptop sales when hardware starts shipping with windows 10 already installed.

    1. The proximity to windows 10 is reason enough for the overall slow-down, but incidental winners and losers are carving out market share. Lenovo and HP have continued to dominate due to keeping costs low and still producing a passable product. Dell gambled with a pricey ultrabook and got burned. Premium sector still belongs to apple and that market is going to have the most inertia, but least room for growth.

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