Many of the familiar brands led the pack, although their shipments weren't exactly heartening. Outside of Apple, most PC makers took a tumble this fall. US sales were kinder to ASUS and Lenovo, but not by a whole lot. And the whole-year figures are pretty sobering -- IDC believes shipments fell 10.4 percent in 2015, while Gartner has them down 8 percent.
Why the plummeting numbers? The analyst groups peg it on a combination of PC buyers' behavior and Microsoft's strategy. As we've seen in the past, PC upgrade cycles are getting longer -- that old PC is more likely to be good enough for another year, especially in a world where smartphones and tablets still reduce the need for a beefy computer. And IDC notes that the free Windows 10 upgrades may have hurt PC vendors. When you don't have to pay to get a new version of Windows, why not use the PC you already have?
Whatever the cause, PC makers don't have a lot to look forward to in 2016. They were banking on a slew of new Windows 10 PCs turning things around this fall, and that clearly wasn't enough. While there's a chance that a flood of clever new hardware (plus many aging systems finally needing upgrades) will help out this year, companies may have to accept that they're in for another rough ride.
[Top image credit: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images]