Global PC shipments keep declining, according to Gartner

In news that should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone who’s been following the industry even peripherally, Gartner notes in a new study that global PC shipments have continued to decline for a fifth straight year. The numbers mark a 3.7 percent year-over-year drop for the fourth quarter of 2016.

The analyst group notes that the consistent decline comes even as laptop makers have worked to push the envelope in the space, with convertible form factors and genuine hardware improvements, like battery life.

Interestingly, in spite of an overall drop in numbers, four of the top six manufacturers actually saw an increase, including Lenovo and HP, which maintained the first and second place spots, respectively.

Dell and Apple saw increases, as well, with the latter having recently released the most significant update to its high-end MacBook Pro line in years. Asus and Acer, meanwhile, both saw notable declines for the quarter, along with the “Others” category, which saw an 18.8 percent drop.

Here in the States, the numbers are largely less dramatic, save for an extremely sharp drop in Asus PC sales of 48.3 percent year-over-year, coupled with a 20.9 percent drop in others. Taken together, that’s enough to account for a 1.3 percent drop in shipments for the quarter, in spite of growth numbers from the rest of the top six.

Among other reasons, Gartner cites the growth of other electronics categories as holiday gifts, including VR headsets, Echo-like connected home devices and wearables, as a factor in the decline during the usually bustling sales season.