IDC says fourth-quarter PC shipments fell 10.6% year-on-year

IDC has released its PC shipment figures for the fourth quarter of 2015, and the numbers continue to shrink. The research firm says worldwide PC shipments totalled 71.9 million units in the final quarter of last year, a decline of 10.9% compared to the same time in 2014. IDC says that's the largest year-on-year decline it's ever recorded, and it also says 2015 is the first year the industry shipped fewer than 300 million units since 2008.

The research firm thinks the continuing decline in the marketplace can be blamed on longer PC lifecycles and the rise of smartphones and tablets, even as sales growth in mobile devices has also slowed. IDC also believes the end of Windows XP support in 2014 may have prompted many to upgrade their systems that year, and the release of Windows 10 as a free upgrade in 2015 could have given buyers even more reason to hold off purchasing new systems. Finally, the firm suspects the proliferation of new form factors, like 2-in-1s and convertibles is giving some buyers pause as they evaluate new PCs, as well.

According to IDC's worldwide Q4 shipment figures, Lenovo remained the world's largest PC company with a 21.4% market share. HP is close behind with a 19.9% share, while Dell sits in third place with 14.1% of units shipped. Asus and Apple tied for fourth place with 7.9% of shipments. Other companies account for the remaining 28.7% of the pie.

In the United States, HP led Q4 shipments with a 28.1% slice. Dell shipped 23.9% of US PCs, while Apple moved 12.1% and Asus tallied up 7.1%. Other companies brought up the rear with 15.6% of all systems shipped.

IDC VP Loren Loverde believes that users will begin replacing their PCs in greater numbers in 2016, especiallly in the second half of the year. Loverde believes users with older systems won't be able to hold off on upgrades forever because of security and performance concerns.

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