Worldwide PC Shipments Decline Significantly in Q3 2015

More bad news for the PC industry. Although 71 million units shipped in the third quarter of 2015, that number marks a year-over-year decline of almost 11 percent -- even worse than 9.2 percent decline analysts predicted.

These stats come from the IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC tracker. The bad news is in line with expectations that the third quarter would face challenging financial conditions as part of a transition period with Windows.

Indeed, the channel was focused on getting rid of Windows 8 inventory to make room for new models carrying Windows 10 and the new Intel Skylake processor, according to IDC. At the same time, vendors were working against currency exchange rates thanks to a stronger dollar.

"The PC market continues to contract as expected, but we remain optimistic about future shipments," said Jay Chou, research manager for IDC Worldwide PC Tracker. "While PC shipments will be hampered in the short run by the availability of a free upgrade to Windows 10, the improved PC experience across user segments should drive longer-term demand for new PC hardware that is expected to help stabilize the market in 2016 and beyond."

Is Microsoft at Fault?

Windows 10 doesn't seem to be totally to blame, however. Although many users went for the free upgrade rather than buying new machines, the accelerated period between Windows RTM (release to manufacturing) and the official retail release made it challenging for PC-makers to get new Windows 10 machines to market in the third quarter, IDC noted.

But there may be a bright spot -- sort of: The top four vendors -- Lenovo, HP, Dell and Apple -- performed better than the market average. All told, the top four only saw a 4.5 percent dip from the same period a year ago. That compares to a nearly 20 percent dip for the...

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