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Will Windows 10 help reinvigorate the PC market?
According to the latest figures compiled by International Data Corporation (IDC), vendors shipped 66.1 million PCs in the second quarter (Q2) of 2015, a year-over-year decline of 11.8 percent, and a one percent shortfall from previous estimates.
IDC attributed the slump to reduced inventory levels in anticipation of the Windows 10 launch, which is currently slated for July 29. Also, without having to contend with last year's Windows XP end-of-life, PC makers shipped fewer units compared to Q2 2014.
Despite the buzz surrounding Microsoft's ambitious Windows 10 operating system, IDC says things are going to get worse before they get better.
"We continue to expect low to mid-single digit declines in volume during the second half of the year with volume stabilizing in future years," said Loren Loverde, vice president of IDC's Worldwide PC Trackers & Forecasting practice, in a statement. "We're expecting the Windows 10 launch to go relatively well, though many users will opt for a free OS upgrade rather than buying a new PC."
PC shipments totaled 16.4 million units in 2Q in the U.S., a 3.3 percent drop compared to the same year-ago period. "Soft retail demand, short term weakness from inventory reductions, some cannibalization from competing devices, and low demand for large commercial refreshes are among the factors that reduced PC shipments," observed IDC senior research analyst Rajani Singh, in a statement.
Microsoft's latest stab at post-PC operating systems should help the U.S. PC market improve somewhat, Singh added.
"Nevertheless, moving forward, we expect a healthy second half as inventory and purchase decisions pick up following the launch of Windows 10," he said. "Emerging product categories will remain a bright spot as attention shifts to convertibles and Chromebooks in the commercial as well as consumer segments."
Chinese PC manufacturer Lenovo, which took over IBM's PC business a decade ago, was the number one PC vendor in Q2 with shipments of 13.4 million units, a 7.5 decline from the same period last year. HP held to the number two spot with shipments of 12.2 million PCs, followed by Dell and Apple.
Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple experienced a 16.1 percent year-over-year increase in shipments (5.1 million units), thanks, in part, to the company's sleek new 12-inch MacBook. Acer and ASUS tied for fifth place with shipments of roughly 4.3 million PCs each.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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