PC sales hit an eight-year low in 2015, according to Gartner, shrinking about 8% from the previous year.
As you can see in this chart compiled by Statista, global PC sales peaked in 2011 at 365 million units. One year later, Microsoft released Windows 8, and it’s been all downhill since then. One can’t blame Windows 8 entirely – there was also a broader slowdown in the economy, particularly in developing economies that had been growing very fast a few years ago, and new competition from the iPad and other tablets, and rapidly improving smartphones in a mobile workforce.
Whatever the reasons for the decline, both Gartner and IDC believe that the PC market has almost hit bottom, and are forecasting a slight recovery or at least flattening in late 2016, driven in part by the rise of convertible tablet-PC hybrids and in part by enterprise adoption of new Windows 10 PCs.