PC shipments plunge, but Apple surges

Fewer and fewer people are buying PCs, unless they are made by Apple, latest industry data show.

Global PC shipments plunged to a worse-than-expected 66.1 million units in the second quarter of 2015, marking an 11.8 percent year-on-year decline, according to a report by IDC.

But Apple was the only company to buck the trend and posted a 16.1 percent rise year-on-year rise in PC shipments.

Microsoft recently ended its support for Windows XP and this, combined with stores reducing inventory ahead of the Windows 10 launch this month was the reason behind the overall decline, IDC said.

The research firm also cited exchange rate volatility effectively increasing the prices of PCs in many markets. While the outlook for the PC market remains weak, IDC added, it is likely to stabilize in the next half of the year.

"We're expecting the Windows 10 launch to go relatively well, though many users will opt for a free OS (operating system) upgrade rather than buying a new PC," Loren Loverde, vice president of the worldwide PC trackers and forecasting division at IDC, said in a press release.

The new MacBook designed for a wireless world unveiled at the Apple event in Cupertino, Calif. on March 8, 2015.
Source: Apple Inc.
The new MacBook designed for a wireless world unveiled at the Apple event in Cupertino, Calif. on March 8, 2015.

"Competition from 2-in-1 devices and phones remains an issue, but the economic environment has had a larger impact lately, and that should stabilize or improve going forward."

PCs have suffered against competition from tablets that double-up as a laptop with detachable keyboard as well as larger screen smartphones that are letting users carry out tasks they would have done on a laptop.

Apple appeal

Apple launched a new Macbook earlier this year which it dubbed the "thinnest, lightest and most beautiful" notebook it has ever made. This was one of the reasons why the Cupertino, CA giant managed to increase shipments, despite the overall market decreasing.

"The vendor has largely avoided the price competition affecting other players and may be benefitting from some of the uncertainty around the launch of Windows 10, along with refreshed products like the 12-inch MacBook and a relative concentration of shipments in the U.S.," IDC noted.

Acer Group saw the biggest decline in PC shipments with a 26.9 percent drop year-on-year in the second quarter.