Global PC shipments declined dramatically this summer

The Windows 10 effect

The PC era certainly isn’t over, but it might be nearing its end. Quarterly shipment reports from Gartner Research and IDC both detail grim statistics for PC manufacturers, especially Acer.

IDC’s research painted the most pessimistic picture for the PC industry, reporting a 10.8% decline in third quarter computer shipments. Gartner, on the other hand, reported the decline at 7.7%.

Acer was hurt the worst by the decline in PC sales. The company saw its shipments decline 19.9% during the quarter, according to Gartner, and 25.9%, according to IDC. The IDC report also reported single-digit percentage point sales decreases for Lenovo, HP, Dell and Apple. Gartner reports 0.5% and 1.5% increases for Dell and Apple, respectively.

Why?

The July launch of Windows 10 might actually have hurt PC sales, as vendors tried their best to clear old inventory ahead of the launch rather than releasing new products. Additionally, consumers chose to upgrade existing PCs rather than buy new hardware to install the new operating system.

However, the coming months should represent a bit of a boon for PC-makers, as new computers with Windows 10 pre-installed, and Intel’s new SkyLake processors hit the market.

In the past few days we’ve seen similar devices from Dell and HP unveiled.

The interruptor

One thing we don’t yet know is how Microsoft’s entry into the PC market will alter the overall sales landscape. The new Microsoft Surface Book is the company’s first laptop and a direct competitor to Apple’s MacBook Pro.

It’s too early to tell if the Surface Book will cut a wedge into the market share landscape, but it’s likely to generate at least some interest from Microsoft enthusiasts. Whether or not that interest will be great enough to boost a sluggish market is doubtful.