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Global PC market not looking great, APAC remains weak

13 May 16

Apple is still leading a faltering PC market despite a 17% drop in shipments, according to new figures from Canalys. 

The research analyst firm says Apple saw shipments of just over 14 million for the first quarter of 2016, in a total global market of 101 million units for the quarter. 

The market, which includes desktops, notebooks, two-in-ones and tablets, saw a 13% decline year-on-year to its lowest point since the second quarter of 2011, the figures show. 

According to Canalys’ report, Lenovo shipped some 25,000 units less than Apple, as its decline moved into double digits on the back of weakening sales in Greater China.

Canalys says shipments were weak across all categories, apart from two-in-ones, which grew just over 13%, as vendors struggle with declines in global PC demand. 

Tablets continue to be the worst affected category, with shipments falling around 15% to just under 39 million units, the figures show.

In the Asia Pacific, the reports show all PC categories continue to experience weakness, affected by improving quality and falling prices in the smart phone market. 

In low-income markets, notebooks and tablets are no longer must-have products and multiple device ownership is becoming less common, Canalys explains. 

PC shipments in Asia Pacific and Greater China dipped 14% as the Chinese market saw its third consecutive quarter of double-digit declines.

North America was the best performing region in the quarter, with PC shipments falling around 5%. The tablet market in the US was aided by shipments of large screen detachable tablets such as the iPad Pro and the Surface Pro 4, the reports show.

Canalys says shipments of two-in-ones and detachable tablets are expected to continue to do well in the US and will grow in high income markets. New form factors will trigger an increase in PC ASPs, benefitting the two-in-one and tablet categories at the expense of notebooks, it says. 

"The global PC market had a bad start to 2016 and it is difficult to see any bright spots for vendors in the coming quarters,” says Tim Coulling, Canalys senior analyst.

“The tablet boom has faded in the distance and the market is fully mature,” he says. 
Coulling says global shipments declines are expected to continue unless vendors bring transformational innovation to the market. 

“Apple and Microsoft are propping up shipments in established markets with their detachables, but price points make them less affordable in low-income countries,” Coulling explains. 

“Although other vendors are coming to market with cheaper alternatives, they are unlikely to have a big impact on volumes in the short term,” he says. 

“The number of people looking to buy their first PC is at an all-time low and 2016 is likely to bring yet more turmoil to global PC vendors,” Coulling adds.

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