PC sales show record decline in Q4 2015, but all not as bad as it seems | PCGamesN

PC sales show record decline in Q4 2015, but all not as bad as it seems

PC sales decline

According to market research firm IDC, PC sales showed a record 10.6 percent drop in the last quarter of 2015; while competing research outfit Gartner called an 8.3 percent plunge. Whichever is correct, both firms agreed PC shipment sales failed to pass 300 million for the first time in seven years. But is it all that bad?

Right, so if we’re not spending money on PCs, we must be buying games. Best blow your cash on some of the best.   

Okay, so while I'm fond of spreading the good word when it comes to how well PC-related sales figures are faring, it’s only right to report when they’re not. Except these latest stats might not be as bad as they first seem. 

PC shipments reached 71.9 million units, say IDC, which accounted for the record year-on-year drop of 10.6 by their reading, however Gartner suggests some countries in western Europe, not least the UK, saw PC sales benefit from Windows 10 promos over the holiday season. 

What’s more, the sky looks rather bright for Mac owners as Apple became the only manufacturer among the top five to show growth, despite declining trends elsewhere. Competition from smartphones and tablets seems to be the reason most touted by both organisations for PC market decline, yet both also predict the market will rebound this year. 

"We continue to believe that a majority of these users will purchase another PC, motivated by new products and attractive pricing," says a statement on the IDC website. "Commercial adoption of Windows 10 is expected to accelerate, and consumer buying should also stabilize by the second half of the year."

Gartner reckons the decline is expected to slow to one percent by the end of 2016 by virtue of a “soft recovery”.

Sign in to Commentlogin to comment
nu1mlock avatarBelimawr avatarneonmosh avatar13th |UKCS| avatarAnakhoresis avatarrgronow avatar+2
nu1mlock Avatar
2 Years ago

This means nothing. More and more people are getting used to building their own PC's and these numbers show nothing of how many individual parts being sold.

Of course Mac will increase even when PC builders increases, Apple doesn't sell any components and it is near impossible to upgrade a Mac other than RAM (or even that in the latest Macbooks).

rgronow Avatar
2 Years ago

Exactly right. Meaningless - no respectable pc gamer would buy a prebuilt pc from pcworld or some other similar retailer.

This report is not really relevant to us gamers. Better look at steam concurrent users for the state of the market- pc gaming has never been stronger!

Belimawr Avatar
2 Years ago

not to mention tablets are taking massive chunks of the low end market as for the average PC/Laptop user they can do pretty much everything on a tablet or even a phone.

if you were going to compare the gaming market growth/decline you would be better off going by sales of graphics card year on year, as really it is the only item that will be in pretty much all gaming PC's.

so basically yeah I agree this is meaningless and lacks any real context to make it a valid comparison when the low end market is going through massive changes, with the advent of tablets and stuff like android boxes.

neonmosh Avatar
2 Years ago

It just dawned on me how the media could use this "decline in PC sales" to indicate the decline of the PC's popularity, which is a bit of a shame.

13th |UKCS| Avatar
2 Years ago

I think it's more to do with the fact people are either upgrading their current PC, or building their own PC. Which works out cheaper instead of buying an already made PC. As I've been upgrading mine over the past year without any problems, gave my PC a new graphics card, RAM and more memory.

I think there will still be a number of people who want to buy a ready built PC, but it's just a fact now that building your own PC is more common place these days

Belimawr Avatar
2 Years ago

truth be told the cross section of PC gamers and prebuilt PC's will be a tiny portion of the PC market.

on the other hand look at all the people walking round with tablets that would have previously used laptops and you realise the largest section of the market (low end internet and email) is changing to cheaper and more compact devices.

Anakhoresis Avatar
2 Years ago

I agree with the people saying it's not home built computers. I mean, I would love for that to be the case, but I doubt it. I would say the major players are phones and the simple case of... Why? PC gamers and intensive productivity software are the only real things (off the top of my head) that would really drive top end hardware, but businesses (which I would guess are the real drivers of sales) don't need it. If a business (or even average customer) bought a high-end dual core or a low to mid range quad core 4-5 years ago, there's no real reason for them to buy a new computer. At the company I work at, there's Core 2 Duos in the machines! And really they work just fine.

For the majority of things that people did on computers, phones (and to some extent tablets) serve that purpose now.

Shriven Avatar
2 Years ago


KeefBaker Avatar
2 Years ago

Yeah, PC Building isn't even as complex as lego these days, most OS's have a built in driver for most onboard lan cards so you don't even have to bother with that and you're up and running in pretty much no time at all.

Plus people are learnign the "bang for buck" lesson and not just jumping on the cheapest components they can find, meaning they'd need to upgrade it again in a year.

There is, however the factor that most generic tasks can be hndled by a tablet or smart TV these days so there's going to be less demand for these bulky machines that require a desk for people who just want to check facebook or watch netflix, so the likes of the Amazon fire stick will have had an impact.