Market research firms IDC and Gartner published their findings about PC shipments in the third quarter. The numbers vary a bit but both firms agree sales were down significantly versus the same period a year earlier, Gartner estimates sales fell 7.7 percent while IDC pegs the decline at 10.8 percent.
Analysts from both firms believe currency exchange woes are partly to blame for the poor performance of the PC market, as the strong dollar resulted in a global PC price hike of around 10 percent through the course of this year.
On the bright side, it's believed the future looks brighter as several factors may drive longer-term demand:
Jay Chou, research manager for IDC’s worldwide PC tracker, said through a statement that the third quarter shipment contraction was expected, but that the firm remains optimistic about future shipments. “While PC shipments will be hampered in the short run by the availability of a free upgrade to Windows 10, the improved PC experience across user segments should drive longer-term demand for new PC hardware that is expected help stabilize the market in 2016 and beyond,” Chou said.
Gartner said the “silver lining” despite the grim third quarter shipment numbers was that its personal technology survey indicated that 50% of consumers plan to buy a new PC within the next 12 months, compared with 21% planning to buy a new tablet. The rise in tablets has been a primary reason for sluggish PC sales over the past several years. But tablet shipments are on the wane, and some analysts believe they have peaked.