Global PC shipments decline for fifth year running, says Gartner

Hardware market continues inexorable decline as consumers rely increasingly on smartphones

Laptops

Worldwide PC shipments have fallen for the fifth year in a row according to Gartner, continuing the industry's seemingly unstoppable decline.

The number of PCs sold in 2016 fell by more than 6% compared to 2015, with a total of just 269.7 million; for context, that's the same as in 2007.

Analysts have blamed the continued slump on a lack of practical innovation within the PC sector, with Gartner's principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa noting that "the broad PC market has been static as technology improvements have not been sufficient to drive real market growth".

"There have been innovative form factors like 2-in-1s and thin and light notebooks," she noted, "as well as technology improvements, such as longer battery life," but pointed out that despite high engagement from pro-sumers, "the market driven by PC enthusiasts is not big enough to drive overall market growth".

Slowdown has also been blamed on an increasing reliance on smartphones, as the gap in capability between mobile and PC narrows. "There is the other side of the PC market, where PCs are infrequently used. Consumers in this segment have high dependency on smartphones, so they stretch PC life cycles longer," Kitagawa said.

While there were certain niche sectors of the market that are still likely to see growth over the next year such as the business and gaming segments she predicted that these areas would not be enough to reverse the decline of the PC market in 2017.

Analysts also warned that the UK was likely to be hit particularly hard by Brexit, with prices expected to rise by up to 10%.

Featured Resources

Modern governance: The how-to guide

Equipping organisations with the right tools for business resilience

Free Download

Cloud operational excellence

Everything you need to know about optimising your cloud operations

Watch now

A buyer’s guide to board management software

Improve your board’s performance

The real world business value of Oracle autonomous data warehouse

Lead with a 417% five-year ROI

Download now

Recommended

Best laptops 2022: Acer, Asus, Dell and more
Laptops

Best laptops 2022: Acer, Asus, Dell and more

18 Jan 2022
Wired2Fire Apollo WS Video Editing Workstation review: Intel processors come back with a bang
Hardware

Wired2Fire Apollo WS Video Editing Workstation review: Intel processors come back with a bang

12 Jan 2022
PC Specialist Aurora R review: A lion in waiting
Hardware

PC Specialist Aurora R review: A lion in waiting

4 Oct 2021
Dell Inspiron Small Desktop 3881 review: Keep it simple
Hardware

Dell Inspiron Small Desktop 3881 review: Keep it simple

29 Sep 2021

Most Popular

Google Cloud to open new office in Pune, India
Cloud

Google Cloud to open new office in Pune, India

24 Jan 2022
Dell XPS 15 (2021) review: The best just got better
Laptops

Dell XPS 15 (2021) review: The best just got better

14 Jan 2022
Sony pulls out of MWC 2022
Business operations

Sony pulls out of MWC 2022

14 Jan 2022