Global PC shipments decline for fifth year running, says Gartner

Hardware market continues inexorable decline as consumers rely increasingly on smartphones


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.

Advertisement - Article continues below

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.

Advertisement - Article continues below

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

Successful digital transformations are future ready - now

Research findings identify key ingredients to complete your transformation journey

Download now

Cyber security for accountants

3 ways to protect yourself and your clients online

Download now

The future of database administrators in the era of the autonomous database

Autonomous databases are here. So who needs database administrators anymore?

Download now

The IT expert’s guide to AI and content management

Your guide to the biggest opportunities for IT teams when it comes to AI and content management

Download now



Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans

6 Mar 2020

Best laptops 2019: Dell, Apple, Acer and more

19 Dec 2019

Armari Magnetar R64ER-RS1280/LC review

7 Nov 2019

Acer ConceptD 5 Pro (CN517-71P) review

4 Nov 2019

Most Popular

Mobile Phones

Microsoft patents a mobile device with a third screen

6 Apr 2020
cyber security

Microsoft gobbles up domain to keep it from hackers

8 Apr 2020
video conferencing

Taiwan becomes first country to ban Zoom amid security concerns

8 Apr 2020