The consumer electronics industry was dealt another punch in the face during the first three months of this year.
According to the latest report from market research firm Canalys, shipments of PC devices (including desktops, notebooks, two-in-ones, and tablets) amounted to 101 million units in the first quarter of 2016. That represents a decline of 13 percent from the same period a year ago — the lowest volume since the second quarter of 2011.
Apple is still the overall leader in device shipments, but the company saw its unit volume fall 17 percent to 14 million. That puts it just barely head of Lenovo (by 25,000 units), which was getting whacked hard in China.
About the only cheery news was that sales of two-in-ones grew 13 percent. But that wasn’t enough to offset the collapse of the tablet market, which fell 15 percent to less than 39 million units.
Basically, the quarter sucked for everything and everyone, according to Canalys. In a grim prognosis, Canalys senior analyst Tim Coulling said things will likely get worse.
“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,” he said. “The tablet boom has faded in the distance, and the market is fully mature. Global shipment declines are expected to continue unless vendors bring transformational innovation to the market. 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.”