PC, tablet, laptop shipments at lowest point since Q2 2011

It's a bad time to be a computer maker. Or a tablet maker. Or a laptop maker. According to market analysts Canalys, worldwide shipments of the abovementioned gadgets has reached 101 million units in the first quarter of 2016, slipping 13 per cent compared to the same quarter in the previous year.

That's the biggest drop in the market since Q2 2011, Canalys says.

Looking at specific manufacturers, Apple is still the number one company, even though it too suffered a severe blow. It fell 17 per cent, and shipped a total of 14 million units. Lenovo is breathing down its neck, shipping 25,000 units less than Apple, but it too has had 'weakening sales in Greater China'.

It's a disaster all around, according to this report, with tablets drawing the biggest straw. Its shipments fell 15 per cent, to less than 39 million units.

The only thing that grew was the two-in-one device, recording a 13 per cent increase in shipments.

Canalys Senior Analyst Tim Coulling said things are about to get even 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. The tablet boom has faded in the distance and the market is fully mature. Global shipments declines are expected to continue unless vendors bring transformational innovation to the market. Apple and Microsoft are propping up shipments in established markets with their detachables, but price points make them less affordable in low-income countries. Although other vendors are coming to market with cheaper alternatives, they are unlikely to have a big impact on volumes in the short term. 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.”