PC sales decline for fifth year in a row

Sales of desktop and laptop computers slipped for the fifth consecutive year in 2016, marking a continued decline in the market since 2012, two market trackers reported.

According to Gartner, shipments of personal computers slipped 6.2 per cent year over year in 2016. Internation Data Corporation pegged total PC shipments at 260 million, suggesting a decline of 5.7 per cent from the previous year.

Releasing fresh stats, Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa said, "Stagnation in the (personal computer) market continued into the fourth quarter of 2016 as holiday sales were generally weak due to the fundamental change in PC buying behavior."

Kitagawa added that the broad PC market remained stagnant as technology advancements have not been adequate to impel real growth in the market.

However, four of the top five PC makers actually saw increase in shipments during the final quarter of 2016. Dell reported the biggest growth with a 5.4 per cent, while Asus suffered the largest decline, with 8.5 per cent fewer units shipped. The top 5 ranked OEMs include Lenovo, H-P and Apple.

Both market trackers noted that growth in shipments of innovative new machines like hybrid laptops with removable tablets wasn't sufficient to offset continued decline in shipments of traditional models.