PC industry saw worst decline in nearly two years during Q2: Gartner

That slump is only expected to continue, although hopefully not as much with a projected decline of 4.4 percent in 2015.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

PC industry declines aren't exactly news anymore, but the latest figures from Gartner reveal what looks like the worst slump in nearly two years.

Approximately 68.4 million units shipped worldwide during the second quarter of 2015, a 9.5 percent decline from the second quarter of 2014, according to the market research firm.

To put it bluntly, Gartner defined this as "the steepest PC shipment decline since the third quarter of 2013."

That slump is only expected to continue, although hopefully not as much with a projected decline of 4.4 percent in 2015.

That's because Garnter analysts pinned this latest decline to three causes assumed to be temporary and "not changing the PC market's structure."

The first one -- the higher value of the U.S. Dollar -- isn't all that surprising given how much it affected tech earnings reports over the last two quarters. Look at anyone from Intel and Oracle to Netflix and Google, the results weren't pretty nor what was expected.

The second two have a lot more to do with the biggest player in the PC market: Microsoft.

Mikako Kitagawa, a principal analyst at Gartner, reminded in the report that the global PC market experienced "unusually positive desk-based growth last year due to the end of Windows XP support."

But there haven't been any growth drivers since then to incite a refresh or upgrade cycle. That's tied to the third factor being the Windows 10 launch was slated for a third quarter release.

"PC vendors and the channels tried clearing inventory as much as possible before the Windows 10 launch," Kitagawa noted.

Analysts concluded the market should see growth again next year.

Vendor-wise, the leaderboard continues to look the same with Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard continuing to dominate in first and second, respectively.

However, Gartner highlighted Lenovo experienced an annual shipment decline for the first time since the second quarter of 2013, hampered by problem areas in EMEA, Latin America and Japan. HP also suffered in Europe, Middle East and Africa channels.

Domestically, roughly 15.1 million units shipped in the United States during Q2, a 5.8 percent decline year-over-year. If it weren't for more mobile form factors shipping last quarter, Gartner hinted the decline could have been much worse.

HP continued to lead at home despite a 10.1 percent decline year-over-year, although analysts pointed out Dell is narrowing the gap.

Apple and Asus rounded out the top five PC vendors in the U.S., respectively.

But out of the top five, only third-place Lenovo demonstrated year-over-year growth at a rate of nearly 10 percent.

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