Gartner say global PC shipments totaled 75.7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015, a 8.3 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2014. For the year PC shipments totaled 288.7 million units, an 8 percent decline from 2014.
The Wall Street Journal points out this disparity is due to the fact that Gartner includes “ultramobile premium devices” (aka certain tablet devices) in its figures, while IDC does not. Gartner estimates negative growth for every major PC hardware vendor apart from Apple: Lenovo, the market leader, dropped by 4%, while Acer Group saw the biggest fall — a 11% decline. Overall, shipments dropped to 75.7 million, down from 83.7 million a year before.
The only vendor to see growth over the year was Apple with 20,741 million units representing a 5.8% growth for the year. Apple is now the 5th largest PC vendor.
The end of the PC era
With yet another YoY decline it is time to announce the end of the PC dominance. With total PC sales of 288 million this is only slightly larger than iPhone sales for the year. Apple sold 231 million iPhone in the year add in iPad units sales of close to 40 million and you have the number of iOS devices shipped being pretty close to the number of PCs sold.
With iOS sales growing at a rapid rate while PC sales stall it is only a mater of time until iOS run rate surpasses the PC industry.
As well as the main PC vendor both Intel and Microsoft are felling the pressure of declining volumes. Both companies had high hopes that the launch of Windows 10 in 2015 would provide a sales boost but this failed to materialise.
The first IBM PC, the 5150 with an 8 bit Intel 8086 processor was launched in 1981. Since then many billions of PC have been sold and many billion have been retired. Estimates put the active PC population at around 1.8 billon devices. Total smart phone user base swept past the PC base sometime in early 2014.