PC shipments take a dramatic dive

Reports of the Windows 10 and laptop hybrid-fuelled renaissance of the PC industry appear to have been premature, as the latest figures make for ugly reading.

According to IDC estimates, computer shipments fell 10.6% in the fourth quarter of 2015. That’s the steepest year-on-year drop in PC history.

The report also reveals that 2015 was the first year since the dark days of 2008 in which overall PC sales numbered less than 300 million.

It seems the twin issues of extended PC life cycles and competition from smartphones and tablets remain relevant here, while falling commodity prices, weak international currencies, and worldwide “social disruptions” are also cited as factors.

In addition, 2014’s ending of Windows XP support and the promotion of cheap PC replacements with a free Windows 10 upgrade has meant that not as many purpose-built Windows 10 devices were sold in 2015 as could have been.

The report also claims that the switch to a new OS and the proliferation of hybrid form factors in 2015 led people to hold off and evaluate their worth versus more traditional PC setups.

Related: Best Laptops 2016

The fact that many of these newer packages – and Windows 10 itself – are actually good could pay off in 2016, claims the report, as people finally decide to take the plunge on a new PC.

“PC replacements should pick up again in 2016, particularly later in the year,” says IDC’s Loren Loverde. “Most PC users have delayed an upgrade, but can only maintain this for so long before facing security and performance issues.”

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