The PC market is not exactly one for good news, but according to Gartner 2016 was the worst yet-- shipments are down by -6% to 269.7 million, a 5th straight annual decline and the lowest total since 2006.
For the curious, 2006 shipments totalled 240 million.
IDC has similar results for the 2016 PC market-- shipments reach 260 million, a -5.7% decline. The analyst says Q1 2016 was particularly constrained by high inventory, free Windows 10 upgrades and difficult comparisons to 2014, but by H2 and Q4 2016 the market stabilised through commercial demand.
Either way, both Gartner and IDC have similar words on the PC market moving forward. The PC has potential in at least some segments, particularly as the tablet and smartphone markets continue to stagnate, but while Gartner predicts further declines IDC hopes for at least some stabilisation, if not "some" recovery."
"The contraction in traditional PC shipments experienced over the past 5 years finally appears to be giving way as users move to update systems," IDC remarks. "We have a good opportunity for traditional PC growth in commercial markets, while the consumer segment should also improve as it feels less pressure from slowing phone and tablet markets."
So, what next for the PC market? It is hard to say, really-- but one can safely point out the days of big PC growth are over, and stable shipments are, arguably, the current best case scenario.