Global PC Sales Fall to Eight-Year Low. What does this mean for marketers?

January 14, 2016

Worldwide PC shipments hit an eight-year low in 2015 after declining for the fourth consecutive year. Global shipments dropped by 8 percent to 289 million in 2015, the lowest it’s been since 2007.

The decline of the PC industry started in 2012, around the time when tablet sales really took off. After a brief respite in 2014, when PC sales were virtually flat thanks to the end of official support for the popular Windows XP and the subsequent upgrade cycle, the market’s decline re-accelerated in 2015 despite the release of Windows 10 in July.

Gartner attributes the weak market performance at least partially to currency effects, which negatively affected sales in EMEA, Japan and Latin America. However, the analysts also see a structural change happening that will lead to fewer people using PCs over the next few years.

This chart shows global PC shipments from 2006 through 2015. 

Infographic: Global PC Sales Fall to Eight-Year Low  | Statista
More at Statista

What does this mean for marketers?

We've clearly seen a shift to a more mobile-centric consumers and business users alike. Because most of us carry our smartphones with us all hours of the day (and night), easy access and always-on readiness means we have to think mobile-first in everything that we do online, publish and promote. 

As Moz reported in November, "Even in the mobile-first marketing era that we live in, you might be surprised that 44% of Facebook users under age 35  only access Facebook from mobile devices. That's right — zero desktops or laptops in the past 30 days. Regardless of the age or demographics of the audience you're targeting, don't assume that they're scanning through a laptop Facebook feed just because you're on a laptop all day while editing ads."
 
The vast majority of Facebook users are on mobile apps, and many of your ad sets may never get a click from desktop users.
 
Most-FB-users-mobile.png
 
With 1.55 billion monthly active users and 1.39 billion mobile monthly active users (as of September 30, 2015), it's fairly safe to use Facebook data as a proxy for mobile-first behavior all users.
 

What do you think? 

Do you agree that the decline of the traditional PC means we must think mobile-first in our marketing? Or do you think this conclusion is simplistic and based on faulty reasoning? Either way we'd love to hear from you in the comments below.  
 
 
 

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