Report: PC shipments fell 7.7% year-on-year in the past quarter

Time for the red ink to flow again. According to a report by Gartner, worldwide PC shipments totaled 73.7 million units in the third quarter of 2015, a 7.7% drop versus the same time last year. The report says desktop PC shipments saw a "high-single-digit" decline, while notebooks and "premium ultramobiles" experienced a low-single-digit drop.

It's not all doom and gloom, though. Gartner also reports the U.S. market for notebooks and ultramobiles saw positive growth. One of the main reasons for the year-on-year slump is the U.S. dollar's sharp rise against many other currencies, particularly those from weaker economies. The company's analysis shows that prices spiked about 10% worldwide due to the currency fluctuation, which hit Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Japan, and Latin America especially hard. Those regions saw double-digit drops in overall sales, while the Asian and North American regions were slightly more stable.

Roughly 20 million units were shipped in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in Q3 2015, a 17.4% fall versus the same period in 2014. The back-to-school season in Western Europe didn't help, as vendors delayed the launch of new products in order to clear existing inventory. The Asia and Pacific region saw 26.3 million units shipped last quarter, a 1.7% year-on-year drop.

According to Gartner, Windows 10 didn't have much of an impact on shipments in the quarter. Most Windows 10 users chose to upgrade their existing machines. However, half of the consumers surveyed by the company said they intend to buy a new PC in the next 12 months, and only 21% are expecting to buy a new tablet. Gartner expects the PC market will see a "soft recovery" in Q4 2015.

Now for Gartner's vendor rankings. Lenovo took the pole position. Its worldwide market share increased to 20.3%, despite a 4% decline in shipments year over year. The company saw sharp double-digit declines in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Japan, which were counterbalanced by 22% growth in the U.S. market. Gartner believes that growth was fueled by the brand's introduction of hybrid PCs at several price points.

HP trails Lenovo at an 18.5% worldwide share. HP also saw poor shipments in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, while its fortunes rose in the Asian and U.S. markets. HP is still the top U.S. vendor with a 27.8% share.

Dell remains in third place with roughly the same unit shipments in Q3 2015 as a year ago. Gartner says the company's shipments took a double-digit fall in Japan. However, that drop was offset by faster-than-average growth in the U.S. market.

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