It's no secret that the PC market has been in decline for a while, and the latest report from Gartner's analysts doesn't bring any better news to the table. According to Gartner, the worldwide shipments for desktops, notebooks, and "ultramobile premium" computers dropped to 64.8 million units during the first quarter of 2016—a 9.6% decrease when compared to Q4 2015. This result marks the sixth consecutive quarter of falling shipment numbers in the industry, and the first time since 2007 that total unit shipments worldwide fell below 65 million. Gartner's analysts point fingers to a number of reasons for the low numbers.
First and foremost, the U.S. dollar has remained strong against a number of worldwide currencies. Second, low oil prices led the Latin American and Russian markets to sharply contract. Those two markets in particular were past drivers of growth in the sector. Third, the political and economical instability in Brazil was a big reason why the Latin America region saw a 32.4% drop in unit shipments. The analysts also believe that the Windows 10 refresh cycle will come later this year, and that smartphones are more popular than full-blown PCs in emerging markets.
When it comes to worldwide manufacturer rankings, Lenovo is still holding the top spot with a market share of 19.3%, despite a 7.2% drop in overall shipments. These results comes courtesy of a strong showing in the North American market, which offset the weakening sales in other regions. HP split into HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise in 2015, and the consumer-oriented part of the big company now holds 17.6% of the worldwide market. Gartner says HP Inc. wants to avoid the low-profit segment of the market. This strategy is reflected in a 9% drop in total units shipped in Q1 2016. Meanwhile, Dell saw only a 0.4% drop, much better than the industry average. Asus's shipments actually grew by 1.5%, and Apple also saw a modest 1% improvement in units shipped.
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