The global PC market has racked up eight straight quarters of year-on-year decline as consumers continue to gravitate to other devices.
That is according to Gartner, which warned that PCs are no longer a "high-priority device" for the majority of consumers in its preliminary Q3 data, which showed shipments falling 5.7 per cent year on year.
Global shipments slid from 73.1 million to 68.9 million, with EMEA's total falling 3.3 per cent to 19.2 million, the analyst said. Its figures cover desktops, notebooks and ultramobile premiums, such as the Surface, but not Chromebooks or iPads.
Although Gartner said the Brexit vote has had "little immediate impact" on the PC market, it attributed this partly to UK buyers increasing orders to get ahead of prices rises expected due to a weak sterling.
Globally, the market was hit by weak consumer demand in emerging markets and the fact that consumers are extending the lifetime of their PCs, Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa said.
"According to our 2016 personal technology survey, the majority of consumers own, and use, at least three different types of devices in mature markets," she said. "Among these devices, the PC is not a high-priority device for the majority of consumers, so they do not feel the need to upgrade their PCs as often as they used to. Some may never decide to upgrade to a PC again."
Fifth-placed Apple and sixth-placed Acer were the worst hit of the major vendors. Their shipments sank 13.4 and 14.1 per cent respectively.
Although market leader Lenovo shrank 2.4 per cent, HP, Dell and Asus – which occupied second, third and fourth place respectively – all grew modestly. This allowed HP to close the gap to Lenovo to half a percentage point.
In EMEA, Asus enjoyed a barnstorming quarter. It grew 21.4 per cent, putting it ahead of Dell and behind only Lenovo and market leader HP, which grew 5.9 per cent.
The western European market was stronger than it was in Q2, said Gartner.
"The decline in EMEA PC sales is linked to weak PC demand in the eastern Europe, Eurasia and Middle East and Africa regions," said Isabelle Durand, principal research analyst at Gartner. "The Middle East and North African PC market declined for the seventh consecutive quarter due to increasing security concerns and political instability."
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