“Research firm Gartner this afternoon reported that personal computer sales in Q1 dropped 9.6%, year over year, to 64.8 million units, ‘the sixth consecutive quarter of PC shipment declines,’ and the ‘first time since 2007 that shipment volume fell below 65 million units,'” Tiernan Ray reports for Barron’s.

The ongoing decline in U.S. PC shipments showed that the installed base is still shrinking, a factor that played across developed economies. Low oil prices drove economic contraction in Latin America and Russia, changing them from drivers of growth to market laggards. PCs are not being adopted in new households like they used to, especially in emerging markets. In these markets, smartphones are the priority. — Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa

“Apple and Asustek Computer in fifth and fourth place, respectively, were the only two in the top five to notch shipment increases, with Apple seeing its sales rise 1% and Asus seeing a 1.5% increase,” Ray reports. “Apple’s share rose to 7.1% from 6.4%, while Asus saw its share rise to 8.3% from 7.4%.”

MacDailyNews Take: Gartner’s guesses do not concur with IDC’s guesses:

IDC: Apple Mac moves up to 4th place in worldwide PC market share; continues to outperform the market – April 12, 2016

“Lenovo is struggling outside the U.S., says Gartner: ‘Lenovo experienced a shipment decline in all regions except North America where the company’s PC units increased 14.6 from the same period last year. In the last four quarters, Lenovo has showed double-digit shipment growth in the U.S., while the overall market has declined,'” Ray reports. “HP’s 9% decline ‘indicates the challenges the company faces in the PC market. HP Inc. has said it wants to stay away from low profit segments, and the first quarter of 2016 results reflect its efforts to emphasize on higher end sales, which cost it shipments.’ Dell’s ‘shipments increased in North America and Japan, but shipments declined in EMEA, Asia/Pacific and Latin America.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Traditional PCs (think Windows and even Macs) always were massive, massive overkill for most people. Way, way more complexity, power, and configurability than the vast majority required. The general public needed computing appliances, so that’s what Steve Jobs and his vast legion of patent- and trade dress-infringing imitators gave them.

Ask yourself, “What does the vast majority use a computer for?” Web browsing, email, some word processing, and games. That’s about it. Really. — MacDailyNews Take, June 22, 2012

The bottom line today remains the same as when Steve Jobs laid it out over half a decade (!) ago:

When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks, because that’s what you needed on the farm. But as vehicles started to be used in the urban centers, cars got more popular. Innovations like automatic transmission and power steering and things that you didn’t care about in a truck as much started to become paramount in cars… PCs are going to be like trucks. They’re still going to be around, they’re still going to have a lot of value, but they’re going to be used by one out of X people… I think that we’re embarked on that.Apple CEO Steve Jobs, June 1, 2010