Wednesday, January 11th 2017

PC Market Stabilizes with Solid Fourth Quarter Shipments: IDC

Worldwide shipments of traditional PCs (Desktop, Notebook, and Workstation) totaled 70.2 million units in the fourth quarter of 2016 (4Q16), posting a year-on-year decline of 1.5%, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. The results continued the recent trend of stabilizing growth, which has been in decline since 2012.

Annually, shipments of traditional PCs slipped to 260 million units, down 5.7% from 2015. The first quarter of 2016 was still constrained by high inventory, free Windows 10 upgrades, and difficult comparisons to commercial replacements in 2014 that were fueled by the end of support for Windows XP. However, mid-2016 and particularly the recent fourth quarter have moved beyond these inhibitors and seen stabilizing commercial demand. Contraction of the consumer PC market has also slowed as growth and competition from tablets and phones has eased up. Recent quarters have faced some tight supply of components such as SSDs, displays, and memory. The supply constraints did not significantly slow overall shipments, and in fact may have boosted growth slightly and accelerated market consolidation as the largest players moved to lock up supply.
Mature regions continued to perform best. Japan and Canada extended positive growth from 3Q16, while volume in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region was stable. Shipments in the United States declined slightly, although the country performed slightly better than the global average. Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan)(APeJ) continued to improve with only a mild decline in shipments while Latin America continued to experience significant contraction.

"The fourth quarter results reinforce our expectations for market stabilization, and even some recovery," said Loren Loverde, vice president, Personal Computing Trackers & Forecasting. "The contraction in traditional PC shipments experienced over the past five years finally appears to be giving way as users move to update systems. We have a good opportunity for traditional PC growth in commercial markets, while the consumer segment should also improve as it feels less pressure from slowing phone and tablet markets."

"The U.S. PC market was able to pull off a strong last quarter of the year with impressive growth in the retail PC segment that surpassed expectations," said Neha Mahajan, senior research analyst, Devices & Displays. "Although this might signal regained consumer confidence in the PC market, with most of the sales being driven by aggressive promotions in the holiday season, it needs to be seen how much of the real demand is carried forward in the coming quarters."

Regional Highlights

The United States market witnessed a slight decline in shipments this quarter. Following inventory growth in the third quarter, the fourth quarter saw growth toning down. At the same time, the retail PC market in the U.S. came out strong, backed by aggressive promotions by top PC vendors in December. Overall, traditional PC shipments for 4Q16 stood at 17.0 million units.

The EMEA market performed better than expected, fueled by strong holiday season sales of traditional PCs. While desktops performed in line with IDC's expectations, notebooks grew above forecast across the region. However, component shortages are expected to have driven some of the vendors' shipment towards inventory build-up.

The Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) traditional PC market continued to stabilize with only a slight year-on-year contraction. The demonetization crisis in India had a significant impact on the market, stifling demand and inhibiting shipments in the consumer and SMB segments, but recovery towards the end of the quarter allowed for more sell-in. In China, robust demand for consumer notebooks supported by a shift to thin and light devices continued. The commercial market in most APeJ countries remained soft. Projects in India have been delayed, while China saw weaker than expected commercial demand. A negative macroeconomic environment also inhibited shipments, particularly in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines. On the other hand, larger orders from the public sector pushed the commercial market above expectations in Korea.

The Japan traditional PC market came in ahead of forecast, but still slowed from the third quarter, as expected. Consumer shipments remained under pressure while the commercial segment was resilient, driving overall growth in 4Q16.

Vendor Highlights
Lenovo continued to hold the top spot, though the competition with HP remains fierce. The top vendor still faced a tough climate in APeJ but made significant strides in the holiday quarter in Europe and the Americas with a stronger performance in notebooks and capped the quarter growing globally at 1.7%, ending six consecutive quarters of year-on-year declines.

HP Inc. held the second position, growing 6.6% compared to 4Q15 for its third consecutive quarter of positive growth and shipping more than 15 million units for the first time since 4Q14. HP Inc. further consolidated its share in the United States market, growing its market share to 31%. The company also saw sizable gains in EMEA and APeJ.

Dell Technologies also had a productive quarter with shipments of just over 11 million (the first time it has done so since 4Q11) and growth of 8.2%. The number 3 vendor managed positive year-on-year growth in every region with strong notebook volume as well as a positive desktop quarter.

Apple was boosted by the launch of new MacBook Pro models during the fourth quarter. The company moved back into fourth place and stabilized global shipments.

ASUS growth slipped in the fourth quarter, particularly in the U.S., but remained in the top 5 globally, ranking number four for all of 2016.
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9 Comments on PC Market Stabilizes with Solid Fourth Quarter Shipments: IDC

#1
Shihabyooo
So, in other words, we've reached the point where -nearly- everyone whose computational needs don't elevate to that of an ol' x86-64 powerhouse (or don't seem to reach that conclusion) has migrated to ARM-land.
Good. Perhaps the future holds more for consumers with serious processing power demands. (I'm looking at you, AMD.)
Posted on Reply
#2
Manu_PT
Is too obvious ARM is the future. Consumers are using much more Smartphones and Consoles than PCs. And soon with Smartphone + Notebook/Personal ARM Computer integration (ARM Snapdragon 835 the first step), it will be even worse, when everyone can do professional tasks on an ARM computer. Btw, microsoft and qualcom closed a deal so Snapdragon 835 computers can emulate x86 Windows 10 apps, the beggining of the end imo.

Intel is worried with qualcomm, not with AMD. x86 is not relevant to the market anymore, more like to workstations and entreprises. And even then... let´s see how it changes. Can see a lot of servers with ARM + Linux instead of x86 + Windows in the future.

Personal Computer x86 as we knew it, is going to be irrelevant soon for the consumer market. PlayStation 4 sale numbers (wich are breaking freaking records everyday - even if PS4 is powered by x86 cpu, but is not a personal computer. And everyone knows next gen will be powered by ARM as it evolved so much) and Smartphones utilization are the clear sign of this.

x86 will still be predominant because of horse power requirements. No one expect an ARM chip to powerhouse a workstation for Adobe Photoshop or video encoding. That´s work for 12/20 cores CHIPs with huge performance (and TDP aswell of course). But for the normal consumer? goodbye x86

Let´s also see how the upcoming Snapdragon 835 will emulate League of Legends, CS:GO and Dota 2, and then we talk...
Posted on Reply
#3
johnsushant
Manu_PT said:
Is too obvious ARM is the future. Consumers are using much more Smartphones and Consoles than PCs. And soon with Smartphone + Notebook/Personal ARM Computer integration (ARM Snapdragon 835 the first step), it will be even worse, when everyone can do professional tasks on an ARM computer. Btw, microsoft and qualcom closed a deal so Snapdragon 835 computers can emulate x86 Windows 10 apps, the beggining of the end imo.

Intel is worried with qualcomm, not with AMD. x86 is not relevant to the market anymore, more like to workstations and entreprises. And even then... let´s see how it changes. Can see a lot of servers with ARM + Linux instead of x86 + Windows in the future.

Personal Computer x86 as we knew it, is going to be irrelevant soon for the consumer market. PlayStation 4 sale numbers (wich are breaking freaking records everyday - even if PS4 is powered by x86 cpu, but is not a personal computer. And everyone knows next gen will be powered by ARM as it evolved so much) and Smartphones utilization are the clear sign of this.

x86 will still be predominant because of horse power requirements. No one expect an ARM chip to powerhouse a workstation for Adobe Photoshop or video encoding. That´s work for 12/20 cores CHIPs with huge performance (and TDP aswell of course). But for the normal consumer? goodbye x86

Let´s also see how the upcoming Snapdragon 835 will emulate League of Legends, CS:GO and Dota 2, and then we talk...
Why does this sound similar to everything people have been saying about Linux for over a decade? I actually think ARM is going to continue to expand while x86 market continues to shrink, but the eventual doom of x86 is not how I actually think this is going to end.
Posted on Reply
#4
64K
I remember reading years ago when doom and gloomers were talking about the oncoming death of the PC that eventually the PC market would stabilize and the decline in sales would end as Developing Countries began buying more and more PCs. iirc the author said this would happen some time around 2017.

Oh yeah, PC gaming is still dying too ;)

http://www.dsogaming.com/news/gdc-2017-survey-pc-remains-the-most-popular-platform-53-of-game-creators-developing-for-it/
Posted on Reply
#5
Manu_PT
64K said:
I remember reading years ago when doom and gloomers were talking about the oncoming death of the PC that eventually the PC market would stabilize and the decline in sales would end as Developing Countries began buying more and more PCs. iirc the author said this would happen some time around 2017.

Oh yeah, PC gaming is still dying too ;)

http://www.dsogaming.com/news/gdc-2017-survey-pc-remains-the-most-popular-platform-53-of-game-creators-developing-for-it/
First of all, what makes you think that website is more legit than techpowerup or anandtech?. And in second place, what keeps PC gaming alive is League of Legends, Dota, CS:GO and 2 or 3 more exclusives. Not the multiplatform titles.

If you check steam stats, the most used hardware is mid-range one (GTX 960, 1060, Intel HD Graphics, GTX 970) to play the low demanding PC exclusives. Dota 2 and League of Legends userbase is more than 70% of PC players, wich shows how bad PC is on the other titles. I can´t even play some game modes on some games like FIFA or CoD. Even BF1 is hard to get servers on game modes that aren´t Conquest or Rush. And the fact millions play LoL and Dota 2 adds up to the numbers and make people think PC gaming is so strong, when in fact and looking to overall picture, it isn´t.

Also, quantity and quality are two different things. Right now you have like 5000 PC exclusives on steam but they are 90% Indies and crappy games. Actually Steam is ruined to me with so much crap all over the place, wich only make the good games suffer as sometimes you get lost with so much crap everywhere.
Posted on Reply
#6
64K
Manu_PT said:
First of all, what makes you think that website is more legit than techpowerup or anandtech?
I don't.

Manu_PT said:
And in second place, what keeps PC gaming alive is League of Legends, Dota, CS:GO and 2 or 3 more exclusives. Not the multiplatform titles.

If you check steam stats, the most used hardware is mid-range one (GTX 960, 1060, Intel HD Graphics, GTX 970) to play the low demanding PC exclusives. Dota 2 and League of Legends userbase is more than 70% of PC players, wich shows how bad PC is on the other titles. I can´t even play some game modes on some games like FIFA or CoD. Even BF1 is hard to get servers on game modes that aren´t Conquest or Rush. And the fact millions play LoL and Dota 2 adds up to the numbers and make people think PC gaming is so strong, when in fact and looking to overall picture, it isn´t.

Also, quantity and quality are two different things. Right now you have like 5000 PC exclusives on steam but they are 90% Indies and crappy games. Actually Steam is ruined to me with so much crap all over the place, wich only make the good games suffer as sometimes you get lost with so much crap everywhere.
CS:GO and League of Legends are immensely popular. I recall League of Legends took in around one billion dollars in micro transactions in 2014. I don't have any figures on how much of the sales go to Independents and how much goes to Triple A games but take a look at these estimated figures concerning Steam sales in 2016




From the article: "Steam Spy says that the top-earning new game last year was Civilization 6, with estimated income of $78.9 million. Dark Souls 3 brought in $63.6 million. Rise of the Tomb Raider raised $54.8 million while Doom managed $55.4 million."

http://www.polygon.com/2017/1/6/14184200/steam-top-selling-games-2016

Steam alone is selling a huge amount of Triple A games. You add in Origin, UPlay and other distribution sites and the number of Triple A games being sold is immense.

I have been hearing about the inevitable demise of PCs and PC gaming for a decade and PC sales have declined. That's true. PC gaming just keeps getting stronger. Neither are going away as far into the future as I can see but if your prediction comes true then you know where to find me and come here to scold me for being foolish. :)
Posted on Reply
#8
Manu_PT
64K said:
I don't.



CS:GO and League of Legends are immensely popular. I recall League of Legends took in around one billion dollars in micro transactions in 2014. I don't have any figures on how much of the sales go to Independents and how much goes to Triple A games but take a look at these estimated figures concerning Steam sales in 2016




From the article: "Steam Spy says that the top-earning new game last year was Civilization 6, with estimated income of $78.9 million. Dark Souls 3 brought in $63.6 million. Rise of the Tomb Raider raised $54.8 million while Doom managed $55.4 million."

http://www.polygon.com/2017/1/6/14184200/steam-top-selling-games-2016

Steam alone is selling a huge amount of Triple A games. You add in Origin, UPlay and other distribution sites and the number of Triple A games being sold is immense.

I have been hearing about the inevitable demise of PCs and PC gaming for a decade and PC sales have declined. That's true. PC gaming just keeps getting stronger. Neither are going away as far into the future as I can see but if your prediction comes true then you know where to find me and come here to scold me for being foolish. :)
Sure, now take a look at this:



Top 12 played on PC the last months, according to statista. How many multiplatform AAA titles in the top 12? 3? And still with 2% percentages? hilarious!

Also all those numbers you showed up are even bigger (and way bigger) on consoles. Just check BF1 stats, for example:

http://bf1stats.com/

PC Peak: 58k users
PS4 Peak: 188k users

3,2 times more on PS4, this in a new fresh game. Go to BF Hardline or Battlefront and it gets even worse (yes, sustaining userbase on older games is VERY important), with 884 currently online on BF Hardline, can´t even play with decent Ping numbers.

Now take a look at steam most played games right now (top 22)



4 multiplatform games, the rest are all low resource demanding PC exclusives. And the more you go downards on that list the more hilarious it gets with AAA games with like 2000 guys online. There are more players playing Football Manager 2015 or Civilization V right now (games with more than 2 years old) than most of the new AAA multiplatform titles.

Yet you still think PC gaming is growing and strong? Yes it is, thanks to League of Legends, Dota 2, CS:GO. Just like I said in the first place. These are facts. If you take those 3 games out of the equation, things get nasty quickly. New 144hz and 240hz monitores are launched because of CS:GO. New super doopa optical sensor with 0 accel and new mice are released because of CS:GO. New 10 button mice and mechanical keyboards are suited for MOBAs, All the PC industry is towards FIRST to MOBAs and CS:GO, wich are the games that keep PC Gaming alive. Is up to you if you want to use all those technologies on poor AAA console ports. Just look at Mafia 3 or Watch Dogs 2 optimizations. Do you really think 1440p 144hz monitors are made for those games? You would need a GTX 1080 SLI for that, and even then most likely 50% of it wouldn´t support your SLI.

I won´t even post images and ranks of PS4 sale numbers and PS4 games sale numbers, that would be embarrasing, as they are beating every record in gaming industry. An industry with 40 years.
Posted on Reply
#9
64K
Manu_PT said:
Sure, now take a look at this:



Top 12 played on PC the last months, according to statista. How many multiplatform AAA titles in the top 12? 3? And still with 2% percentages? hilarious!

Also all those numbers you showed up are even bigger (and way bigger) on consoles. Just check BF1 stats, for example:

http://bf1stats.com/

PC Peak: 58k users
PS4 Peak: 188k users

3,2 times more on PS4, this in a new fresh game. Go to BF Hardline or Battlefront and it gets even worse (yes, sustaining userbase on older games is VERY important), with 884 currently online on BF Hardline, can´t even play with decent Ping numbers.

Now take a look at steam most played games right now (top 22)



4 multiplatform games, the rest are all low resource demanding PC exclusives. And the more you go downards on that list the more hilarious it gets with AAA games with like 2000 guys online. There are more players playing Football Manager 2015 or Civilization V right now (games with more than 2 years old) than most of the new AAA multiplatform titles.

Yet you still think PC gaming is growing and strong? Yes it is, thanks to League of Legends, Dota 2, CS:GO. Just like I said in the first place. These are facts. If you take those 3 games out of the equation, things get nasty quickly.

I won´t even post images and ranks of PS4 sale numbers and PS4 games sale numbers, that would be embarrasing, as they are beating every record in gaming industry. An industry with 40 years.
Well, you've earned my respect for bringing actual data to the table to make your case.

As I said before it's obvious that CS:GO and League of Legends are immensely popular. Indies are all over Steam. True. I don't go shopping on Steam for games so I don't care what games are being promoted there. I decide what games I want from reviews and player feedback that I consider reliable and go on Steam and buy them a couple of years after release when they are patched, polished and on sale for ~75% off.

I'm just pointing to the millions and millions and millions of Triple A multi platform games being sold for PC as well. Excluding



these games and Indies PC gaming is still very strong.
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