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Dell, which sells the XPS laptop range, was one of the most popular vendors but couldn't reverse the fall of PC sales. Mark Von Holden/AP Images

PC makers will likely want to forget all about 2015

Global PCs sales in 2015 fell below 300 million, the first time since 2008.

THE PC MARKET might still have a place alongside the smartphone but 2015 was a year to forget for manufacturers as a slide in sales continued.

According to the latest figures from the International Data Corporation (IDC), 71.9 million units were shipped globally in the last three months of 2015, a 10.6% drop from the same period in 2014 and the largest year-on-year decrease in the market since 2013.

To make things worse, the total number of PCs shipped during 2015 was 276.2 million, the first time sales were below 300 million since 2008.

There was one bright spot in an otherwise dour report. 2-in-1 devices – tablets that can act as a laptop when attached to a keyboard – are growing although the report says they have a small base to grow from in the first place.

The report showed optimism for the market in 2016. saying it expected the market to pick up as PC owners will likely upgrade to avoid facing performance or security issues.

Difficult times

Techbits Gadgets for Sale Despite the market decline, Apple's Mac and Macbook sales continued to grow in 2015. AP Photo / Eric Risberg AP Photo / Eric Risberg / Eric Risberg

The market has been on a decline in recent years as desktop PCs fall out of vogue and laptops and hybrid devices try to make up for lost ground.

One of the biggest (and obvious) reasons for this decline is how popular smartphones are. An easier to understand interface, growing screen sizes and portability means they’re easier to use, reducing the need for some people to invest in a PC.

Another factor that didn’t help matters was the launch of Windows 10. Instead of it requiring users to buy a new machine, many existing machines were eligible for the upgrade as it was free for Windows 7 and 8.1 users.

That meant many users could continue using their older machine but with new software – currently more than 200 million people are using Windows 10 according to Microsoft. Longer lifecycles for PCs and laptops also contributed to this problem.

In the case of Europe, vendors remained committed to clearing out older Windows 8 devices, and while the launch of Windows 10 devices over the Christmas period helped, it was not enough to reverse the trend.

As for manufacturers, Lenovo shipped the most PCs during 2015 with 57 million units. HP and Dell followed behind with 53.5 million units and 39 million units shipped respectively.

While those companies all saw a decline in units sold, Apple managed to continue growing, shipping 20.7 million units in the year compared to 19.5 million in 2014.

Read: This is how you can change default apps on Android >

Read: Europe says it’s OK for the boss to snoop on your private messages at work >

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