Worldwide personal-computer shipments dropped 8.3 percent in the fourth quarter, ending the year at fewer than 300 million units for the first time since 2008, researcher Gartner said.
PC manufacturers shipped 75.7 million machines in the fourth quarter compared with about 82.6 million a year earlier, Gartner said Tuesday in a statement. Sales sank 3.1 percent in the U.S. to 16.9 million in the quarter.
Shipments have declined every year since a peak of more than 360 million in 2011 as more consumers turn to smartphones and tablets when they want to post on Twitter, send an e-mail or write a document. Gartner forecasts a fall of 1 percent in 2016 with the potential of a soft recovery later in the year.
“The fourth quarter of 2015 marked the fifth consecutive quarter of worldwide PC shipment decline,” said Mikako Kitagawa, an analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. “Holiday sales did not boost the overall PC shipments, hinting at changes to consumers’ PC purchase behavior.”
Lenovo retained its leadership with 20 percent of the global market in the fourth quarter, even as the company’s shipments dropped 4.2 percent, Gartner said. Apple posted a gain as the No. 5 player.
Lenovo, which gets about two-thirds of its total revenue from PC sales, is based in China but has a headquarters in Morrisville, where it employs more than 3,000 people.