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July 10, 2014

Windows Likely to See Boost in PC Shipments in 2015

There is some bright news in the PC market. There was flat growth in Q2 when it comes to global PC shipments, Gartner (News - Alert) reported. This is important because it follows two long years of declines. In contrast, IDC, in its report, said global PC shipments during Q2 saw only slight declines.

Gartner said that 75.8 million PCs were shipped in Q2, which is a 0.1 percent increase from Q2 of 2013. On the other hand, IDC (News - Alert) said 74.4 million PCs were shipped in Q2, a drop of 1.7 percent, when comparing 2014 and 2013.

Some of the reason for the improving number of shipments is demand from the United States, Europe and Canada, IDC said. IDC further explained that many businesses have replaced their PCs which were running on Windows XP. It is not a coincidence that Microsoft (News - Alert) ended support for the OS in April. There is also increased demand among consumers for lower-cost PCs, such as Chromebooks, the firms said.

Looking ahead, Gartner said Windows will see a boost in PC shipments in 2015, because businesses will “replace older desktop PCs and upgrade from Windows XP,” according to the firm’s research projections. The new computers are run on Windows 7.

In addition, global PC shipments will likely increase to 317 million in 2015, which is 2.9 percent more than PC shipments predicted for 2104. The number of PC shipments is expected to total 308 million in 2014.

Windows operating systems devices will be 13.7 percent of the market this year, and 14.4 percent of the market next year. In addition, Windows-based smartphones are predicted to have 10 percent of market share in 2018, compared to 4 percent share in 2014, Gartner said.

However, emerging markets continue to see declines in PC shipments. “The PC industry in emerging markets has been impacted by the allure of low-cost tablets,” Mikako Kitagawa, a Gartner analyst, explained in a statement. “These low-cost tablets continue to take spending from new PC units, meaning that it will take more time for PC sales to stabilize in emerging markets.”

Kitagawa also detects “a slowdown in premium tablet sales.”

“PCs are now growing off a smaller installed base of newer devices, with more engaged users,” she added. “Therefore, we expect to see slow, but consistent, PC growth. While the end of support for Windows XP drove some of the sales in developed markets, it is the underlying business replacement cycle that will stabilize the market.”

As of now, Lenovo (News - Alert) leads in global PC shipments, with 19.2 percent market share. When it comes to the U.S. market, HP was on top, with 27.7 percent of PC shipments. The consumer PC market saw improvements in the United States, too. “The availability of affordable, thin and light notebooks have drawn consumers’ attention,” Kitagawa said. “Touch enable devices are also widely available with decreasing price premiums compared to a year ago.”

In the United States, there also was “better alignment with channel partners and internal restructuring [which] helped HP and Dell (News - Alert) to grow faster than the market,” Rajani Singh, an analyst at IDC, said in the statement. Singh notes that in the United States there will be strong sales in the back-to-school shopping season and healthy sales by consumers in the winter holiday shopping season.

Looking at different regions, Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, said “2014 is on pace to be a year of relative revival in the global PC market and that change is most pronounced in Western Europe.” 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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