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PC shipments plunge but Apple bucks trend: IDC

PC market

Last year ended with a record-setting drop in personal computer shipments, with Apple bucking the trend, according to a report.

The International Data Corporation calculated that some 71.9 million personal computers (PCs) were shipped worldwide in the final quarter of 2015, a 10.6 percent drop from the same period a year earlier.

The PC market faced challenges including competition from smartphones and tablets, and people waiting longer to buy new machines, according to IDC.

“The PC market remains competitive and the economic environment weakened further with the recent drop in the Chinese stock market,” IDC Worldwide PC Tracker vice president Loren Loverde said in a statement, released on Tuesday.

“However, PC replacements should pick up again in 2016, particularly later in the year.”

Loverde expected an increase in the pace of businesses upgrading to computers powered by new-generation Windows 10 software.

Consumers should also be motivated to upgrade to new PCs for security and performance improvements, according to IDC.

“The free upgrade path to Windows 10 allowed some consumers who might otherwise have shopped for new PCs during the holiday season to obtain a ‘new’ PC experience,” said IDC devices and displays research director Linn Huang.

“Additionally, the launch of the iPad Pro may have siphoned off some consumer interest in traditional PCs.”

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Chinese computer maker Lenovo maintained its top position in the market, shipping nearly 15.4 million PCs in the final quarter of last year, according to IDC.

US rivals HP and Dell were second and third, shipping approximately 14.3 million and 10.2 million PCs respectively, the report showed.

Apple saw its position improve, with shipments climbing 2.8 percent to some 5.66 billion in a year-over-year comparison, according to IDC.

The report listed Apple and Asus as essentially tied for four place in the market in the quarter.

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