Canalys: Apple still number one PC maker as market dips to 2011 levels

Worldwide shipments of PCs — as in personal computer, not just Windows systems — totaled 101 million units in quarter one (Q1) of 2016, as total volumes dipped by 13% year-on-year to their lowest point since Q2 2011, according to Canalys.

Apple continued to lead the market into the first quarter of 2016 with shipments of just over 14 million units of Macs and iPads, despite falling 17%. The Cupertino, California-Based company is the top PC maker because Canalys includes desktops, notebooks, two-in-ones AND tablets in their tallies. Most research groups don't include tablets like the iPad in their calculations of personal computer marketshare.

“The global PC market had a bad start to 2016 and it is difficult to see any bright spots for vendors in the coming quarters. The tablet boom has faded in the distance and the market is fully mature,” says Tim Coulling, Canalys senior analyst. “Global shipments declines are expected to continue unless vendors bring transformational innovation to the market. Apple and Microsoft are propping up shipments in established markets with their detachables [Canalys considers the iPad Pro a detachable device], but price points make them less affordable in low-income countries.”

He adds that, although other vendors are coming to market with cheaper alternatives, they are unlikely to have a big impact on volumes in the short term. The number of people looking to buy their first PC is at an all-time low and 2016 is likely to bring yet more turmoil to global PC vendors, according to Canalys.