Worldwide sales of PCs are continuing to slip and slide, marketing the 14th consecutive quarter of continuous declines. Sales of PCs reached 61.7 million units for Q1 2018, down 1.4% year on year. Sales of PCs have been on a constant decline since the second quarter of 2012 according to research from Gartner.
"The major contributor to the decline came from China, where unit shipments declined 5.7 percent year over year," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "This was driven by China's business market, where some state-owned and large enterprises postponed new purchases or upgrades, awaiting new policies and officials' reassignments after the session of the National People's Congress in early March.”
Kitagawa also cites uncertainty over the imminent release of Intel’s 8th-Gen Coffee Lake processors as a reason why hardware vendors weren’t keen on overstocking on PCs with 7th-Gen Intel processors.
The full figures can be seen below, with HP, Lenovo and Dell retaining their status as the dominant forces in PC pre-builds. Collectively they accounted for 54.5% of all PCs sold. These figures include all desktops, notebook and ultra-mobile devices, but excludes Chromebooks and tablets.
Despite further drops in sales, the actual average selling price of a PC is still increasing. Fewer people are buying pre-built PCs but they’re increasingly willing to spend more.
As far as the data goes, this is all par for the course as the traditional PC market contracts. While PC gaming has arguably never been stronger, and Nvidia is breaking revenue records seemingly every quarter, sales of traditional PCs shrinks due to a rise in the popularity of the alternatives. For home users, a tablet or phone often does the job for most needs, such as web browsing or streaming content, while businesses are notoriously slow at upgrading their hardware.