Apple defies trend as PC sales fall

SAN FRANCISCO - Apple keeps defying a PC industry trend: While other major computer-makers saw shipments fall in 2015, Apple increased the number of Macs it shipped worldwide last year, according to estimates from two research firms on Tuesday.

See Full Article

Total PC shipments have been declining, industrywide, for the last four years, as consumers are waiting longer to buy new models and many are turning to smartphones or tablets. Even last summer's release of Windows 10 - Microsoft's new operating software - failed to boost overall sales.

All told, manufacturers shipped a total of 288.7 million PCs last year, down 8 per cent from 2014, according to researchers at Gartner. Analysts at International Data Corp., using different methodology, put the total at 276 million and the decline at 10.4 per cent.

Apple, however, saw an increase of roughly 6 per cent, according to both firms. While other major PC-makers have seen ups and downs, Apple alone has enjoyed gains in each of the last three years.

Big manufacturers like Lenovo, HP and Dell still sell far more computers than Apple. Industry leader Lenovo shipped 57 million PCs last year, while estimates for Apple are just under 21 million.

Still, analysts say Apple benefits from its reputation as a premium brand in the United States and Europe. It's also been making inroads in Asia. Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa noted that Apple has been opening retail stores in China, which is now the second-largest PC market in the world.

Experts trace the PC industry's slump to the introduction of more powerful smartphones and tablets in recent years. Even Apple saw a slight decline in Mac shipments in 2012, when some buyers opted for iPads instead. The slump has also hurt chipmakers like Intel and other companies that make PC components, while forcing software makers to re-design their products for smaller, mobile devices.

Nearly every major PC maker now makes tablets, as well. Lenovo has also moved into smartphones, buying the Motorola phone business from Google in 2014. But tablet and smartphone sales are also slowing, as more people already own them.

Industry hopes are now turning to new "hybrid" computers, or tablets with detachable keyboards, which are touted as combining the best features of PCs and tablets. Sales of those devices are still small, but growing. IDC analyst Jay Chou said his firm expects industrywide shipments of traditional PCs will fall another 3 per cent this year, but the addition of hybrids could turn that total into an overall increase of 1 per cent.

Analysts also blamed last year's weak PC numbers on economic weakness in Asia and the end of a 2014 buying surge that followed Microsoft's decision to end support for Windows XP, an older version of its widely used operating software. An expected boost from the new Windows 10 was undercut by Microsoft's decision to give free software upgrades to owners of older machines.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • North Dakota officials beg last pipeline protesters to leave

    Economic CTV News
    CANNON BALL, N.D. - Public officials in North Dakota pleaded with the remaining protesters at the Dakota Access oil pipeline camp to pack up and leave so authorities can resume cleaning up the premises without any further arrests. Source
  • Asian stocks dip as U.S. rate hike mooted

    Economic CTV News
    HONG KONG - Asian shares slipped Thursday after the latest Fed minutes raised the possibility that a U.S. rate hike could come sooner than expected. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.4 per cent to 19,312.07 and South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.1 per cent to 2,104.70. Source
  • Tesla swings to lost in 4Q, says Model 3 on target

    Economic CTV News
    DETROIT -- Unable to string together profitable quarters, electric car and solar cell maker Tesla Inc. reported a loss for the last three months of 2016. Tesla posted its first profit in three years in last year's third quarter and had predicted net income in the fourth quarter. Source
  • Tesla swings to loss in 4Q, says Model 3 on target

    Economic CTV News
    DETROIT -- Unable to string together profitable quarters, electric car and solar cell maker Tesla Inc. reported a loss for the last three months of 2016. Tesla posted its first profit in three years in last year's third quarter and had predicted net income in the fourth quarter. Source
  • United Airlines enters basic economy fare wars in the U.S.

    Economic CTV News
    On Tuesday, United began selling basic economy fare tickets on select domestic routes in the U.S., joining American Airlines and Delta in offering a budget option for fliers. It's a move aimed at staying competitive in a market that's becoming increasingly crowded with low-cost and ultra-low cost carriers. Source
  • SodaStream recalls bottles at risk of bursting

    Economic CBC News
    SodaStream Canada has recalled some one-litre bottles because consumers could be injured if the bottles rupture while the contents are being carbonated. The recall was issued jointly by Health Canada, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission and SodaStream Canada Ltd. Source
  • Good news for Bombardier? Business jet sales may be bolstered by Trump tax cuts

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- The U.S. government's plan to cut corporate taxes will bolster the business jet industry which last year had its weakest performance since 2004, an association representing the sector said Wednesday. "It will be a good shot in the arm for the industry," said Pete Bunce, CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Source
  • Tim Horton's parent buys Popeyes chicken

    Economic CTV News
    Restaurant Brands International, the parent company of Burger King and Canada's Tim Hortons donut shops, said Tuesday it has reached a deal to buy American fried chicken chain Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. The sale price is US$1.8 billion, or US$79 per share, according to a statement, representing a 27 percent premium over Popeyes' recent average stock price. Source
  • Apple acquires facial recognition start-up

    Economic CTV News
    RealFace specializes in developing artificial intelligence (AI) based facial recognition software. Its first consumer application, Pickeez, can find all the photos of a given person on a smartphone or in a Facebook folder and can even pick the best shots. Source
  • TransCanada asks shippers to support new natural gas pipeline tolls

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- TransCanada (TSX:TRP) is proposing a new pipeline tolling system it says will allow western Canadian natural gas to be shipped to Ontario at lower rates to better compete with growing American supplies. The Calgary-based energy transport company is inviting shippers to sign long-term binding commitments by March 9 to move gas on its underutilized Canadian Mainline system from a shipping centre in Alberta to a hub in southern Ontario. Source