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PC woe as sales slow

12 Jul 13

Worldwide PC shipments have fallen for fifth consecutive quarter, the longest duration of decline in the PC market’s history, begging the question - are PCs finished?

Shipments dropped to 76 million units during the second quarter of this year, marking a 10.9% decrease from the same period last year, according to preliminary results by Gartner.

In a damaging global report, all regions showed a decline compared to a year ago.

The fall in the Asia/Pacific PC market continued, showing five consecutive quarters of the shipment decline, as companies move away from the market.

“We are seeing the PC market reduction directly tied to the shrinking installed base of PCs, as inexpensive tablets displace the low-end machines used primarily for consumption in mature and developed markets,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst, Gartner.

“In emerging markets, inexpensive tablets have become the first computing device for many people, who at best are deferring the purchase of a PC.

This is also accounting for the collapse of the mini notebook market.”

Market leaders

HP and Lenovo's neck-and-neck competition continued, but this time, Lenovo was back in the top position by only a small difference in share.

But following comments from CEO Meg Whitman last month, HP believes the PC industry is a "wild card" and is refusing to give up on growth within the market.

As Dell considers a move into the "wearable tech space", shipments declined compared to a year ago also, but its 2Q13 results showed a smaller decline than the past several quarters.

Both Acer and ASUS showed steep declines compared to the second quarter last year, with the decline partly affected by their strategies to exit the mini-notebook market.

“While Windows 8 has been blamed by some as the reason for the PC market’s decline, we believe this is unfounded as it does not explain the sustained decline in PC shipments, nor does it explain Apple’s market performance,” Kitagawa said.

Top vendors:

• Lenovo - 16.7%

• HP - 16.3%

• Dell - 11.8%

• Acer Group - 8.3%

• ASUS - 6.0%

• Others - 40.8%

Are PCs finished? Is it just a matter of time? Tell us your thoughts below

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