Gartner: PC Shipments hit 9-year low as Apple grows Mac shipments

“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


  1. PCs these days mainly turn out viruses, trojans and other network parasites. Anyone buying one should be put on a federal register of potential computer malevolents (domestic terrorists) and have their prints taken, passport scanned etc.

    1. The trackpad in my late 2015 MacBook Pro is the best trackpad I have ever used. It is excellent. Even though I got the machine a few months ago, I’m still trying to learn how to operate it (my first OS X experience). iOS devices are much easier to learn and are probably why they are so popular. It was genius of them to figure out that market ten years ago.

  2. What is killing PC sales?

    PC builders insistence on installing 5400 rpm hard drives with 4 to 8gb of ram.

    Recently I spent several days setting up PC’s for several disadvantaged students. These were nice computers with i7 processors so they should be fast – very fast.

    Unfortunately, I could hardly tell the difference between my six year old machine and these.

    Finally in desperation I ordered several $69 250b ssd’s from Amazon. The difference was ASTOUNDING, absolutely AMAZING!

    Functions that did not work in Windows 10 started working flawlessly and very quickly.

    The teachers and parents were shocked. A PC can do all these things, at that speed? Wow! Computers have really changed!

    Apple wants the world to shift to iPad’s. That will never happen – iPad’s are great for certain tasks. They will never compete with a thin sleek Mac with an SSD.

    Now if only Apple would lower their crazy prices for SSD’s and ram.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.