Computer sales have suffered in recent years under the pressure from the touchscreen tablet segment, leading to changes in the balance of forces involved and forcing players like Intel to explore the path of mobile processors to compensate.
However, the niche of touch tablets itself stalled in 2014, allowing computer sales to stabilize while benefiting from a renewal cycle associated with the end of support for Windows XP by Microsoft.
These positive effects faded in early 2015, driving computer sales to down 5.2% compared to early 2014, i.e. a volume of 71.7 million units recorded by the research firm Gartner.
Analysts, however, remain positive for the whole year, suggesting that laptops, ultraportables and hybrids will allow the sector to fall only slightly in 2015 and even progress slowly over the next five years.
Desktop PCs remain the first victims of the trend with a decline in sales which remains strong while laptops benefit from a replacement cycle towards thinner hybrid products with tablet functionality. The Hybrid laptops thus made good progress in the first quarter of the year.
On the manufacturers side, Lenovo, market leader, widens the gap with the competitor HP and now holds 18.9% market share, compared to 17.3% for the American group, the two groups being the only ones to benefit from an increase in their volume.
Further, Dell is slightly behind with 12.6% of market share and no longer benefits from the renewal linked to the end of Windows XP, while Asus has taken the lead slightly against an Acer group which is declining slightly.