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The Latest PC Sales Figures Suggest Nothing Has Stabilized


This Seeking Alpha Eye on Tech column looks at IDC and Gartner's Q1 PC shipment data, which indicates the market remained quite weak in Q1.

Soft consumer and emerging markets demand weighed, as did a strong dollar and slow Windows 10-related enterprise upgrade activity.

Top-5 vendors Lenovo, HP, Dell, Apple, and Asus all gained share. HP's gains were limited by the company's efforts to focus more on high-end sales.

Back in January, Gartner predicted PC shipments would drop just 1% in 2016, after having dropped 8% in 2015 to 288.7M. IDC actually forecast 1%-2% growth after factoring detachable tablet sales.

It might be time to revisit those outlooks. Today, IDC estimates PC shipments fell 11.5% Y/Y in Q1 to 60.6M, an even bigger decline than Q4's 10.6%. Gartner is once more slightly less negative, estimating shipments fell 9.6% to 64.8M. Nonetheless, that's still (per Gartner) the first time since 2007 quarterly shipments fell below 65M.

Among the culprits mentioned by IDC/Gartner: A strong dollar, stock market volatility, low oil prices, channel inventory cuts, and a slow pace to Windows 10-related enterprise upgrades. And...