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Global PC Market Stagnation Continues in 2016

Personal computer (PC) demand is still a major concern. Worldwide PC shipments totaled 60.6 million units in the first quarter of 2016 (1Q16) -- that's a year-on-year decline of 11.5 percent, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).

IDC also anticipated slow progress during the first half of 2016, as Microsoft Windows 10 enterprise upgrades largely remained in a pilot deployment phase. IDC believes that the global volatility in stocks, commodities and currencies has depressed PC shipments. Moreover, the outlook remains a problem.

Inventory reductions in the channel now seem to be over. A rebound in economic conditions could support both commercial and consumer activity going forward. Nevertheless, channels, vendors, and users remain cautious about new PC purchases. Overall, Asia-Pacific and EMEA performed slightly better than forecast, while the Americas pulled down worldwide results.

Overcoming Market Development Stagnation

"In the short term, the PC market must still grapple with limited consumer interest and competition from other infrastructure upgrades in the commercial market," said Jay Chou, research manager at IDC.

PC shipments to the U.S. fell by 5.8 percent to 13.6 million units in 1Q16. PC channels remained challenged with aging inventory -- although inventory churn has reportedly improved throughout the last two quarters. That being said, PC market inhibitors that were present in 4Q15 lingered through 1Q16.

These issues included softened demand due to global economic concerns, the Microsoft Windows 10 free upgrade path stalling some consumer PC purchases, and increased attrition towards detachables. According to the IDC assessment, overall demand for PCs in the U.S. market continues to be weak.

United States PC Vendor Highlights

In the U.S. market, Dell overtook HP Inc. for the first place ranking for the first time since the third quarter of 2009. Dell's U.S. PC shipments rose 4.2 percent year over year to 3.48 million -- that's a 25.6 percent market share.

HP Inc's PC shipments to the U.S. fell 14.1 percent to 3.44 million units (25.3 percent share). Lenovo continued its aggressive growth trajectory as its 1.9 million units shipped represented 21.1 percent year-over-year growth and accounted for 14.1 percent of total U.S. PC shipments.

Apple's Mac shipments rose 5.6 percent year-over-year to nearly 1.8 million (13.0 percent market share). Acer's shipments fell 10.4 percent to 0.7 million, but the company overtook ASUS and Toshiba to regain a seat in the U.S. top five.

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