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The 2015 holiday season was somewhat less happy, at least for PC vendors.
Worldwide PC shipments dipped 8.3 percent to 75.7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to Gartner, indicating that the holiday shopping season and Microsoft's new Windows 10 operating system failed to reinvigorate the PC market.
"Holiday sales did not boost the overall PC shipments, hinting at changes to consumers' PC purchase behavior," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, in a statement. "On the business side, Windows 10 generally received positive reviews, but as expected, Windows 10 migration was minor in the fourth quarter as many organizations were just starting their testing period."
Globally, Lenovo shipped the most PCs last quarter (15.4 million), enough for the Chinese company to nab just over a fifth of the market. "Lenovo did particularly well in North America to offset shipment declines in EMEA [Europe, the Middle East and Africa], Latin America and Japan," noted Gartner.
Second-place HP shipped 12.2 million PCs for an 18.8-percent share of the market. Rounding out the top five are Dell, Asus and Apple.
Consumers' taste in technology shifted in 2015, observed Kitagawa. Not only were notebooks a rare sight on holiday wish lists in the U.S., there was little incentive for shoppers to rush out and buy a PC.
"Unlike 2014 holiday sales, there were not many holiday mega deals for laptops, especially in value segments, she added. "At the same time, consumers' interest shifted to other consumer electronics devices such as TV's and wearables."
In the U.S., HP took the top spot with shipments of 4.6 million PCs and 27.1 percent of the market. Dell shipped 4.2 million PCs, capturing a 24.5-percent share of the market. Apple, Lenovo and Asus followed to complete the top five.
In total, 2015 marked the fourth straight year of declines in the PC market. Shipments fell to 288.7 million units, an 8 percent drop compared to 2014. "Lenovo maintained the number one position, accounting for 19.8 percent of PC shipments, followed by HP with 18.2 percent market share. Dell rounded out the top three vendors, accounting for 13.6 percent of shipments," Gartner stated.
The outlook for 2016 is less bleak. Gartner forecasts a 1 percent decline this year compared to 2015, with the possibility of a "soft recovery" by year's end.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.