The busy holiday season failed to give much of a bounce to global PC shipments, with research firm IDC Corp. reporting 80.8 million units shipped in the fourth quarter of 2014, a year on year decline of 2.4 per cent.
While that decline did beat IDC’s forecast decline of 4.8 per cent, it still marked continued market contraction despite shipments surpassing 80 million on the quarter for the first time in 2014 thanks to holiday shopping. On the year, 308.6 million units were shipped for a 2.1 per cent year over year decline.
IDC reports that commercial demand has slowed after showing some vibrancy earlier in the year, while consumer demand is gradually improving. Low-priced systems based on Chromebooks and the promotion of Windows 8 + Bing contributed positively to the numbers.
“The strength from market leaders, as well as improvement in Asia/Pacific and the consumer market more generally, are positive signs for the PC market,” said Loren Loverde, IDC vice-president, Worldwide PC Tracker, in a statement. “Growth of Chrome, Bing, all-in-ones, ultraslim, convertibles, and touch systems similarly make PCs more compelling and competitive. Nevertheless, some of the gains are relatively small, and weakening drivers like Bing promotions and end of XP support transitions, cast a shadow of doubt on the strength of the market going into 2015.”
On the vendor leaderboard, Lenovo hung on to top spot in Q4 with 19.9 per cent of the market, followed by HP with 19.7 per cent and Dell with 13.5 per cent. Acer and Apple round out the top five with 7.7 per cent and 7.1 per cent, respectively. Lenovo made a strong push in the EMEA region and outpaced the market in the U.S., and surpassed 16 million global shipments for the first time. HP had a strong quarter in the U.S., while Dell’s numbers were boosted by its notebook sales.