By Daniel Hunter
Worldwide PC shipments dropped to 76 million units in the second quarter of 2013, a 10.9% decrease from the same period last year, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. This marks the fifth consecutive quarter of declining shipments, which is the longest duration of decline in the PC market’s history.
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, while the EMEA PC market registered two consecutive quarters of double-digit decline.
“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 at 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.”
HP and Lenovo's neck-and-neck competition continued. This time, Lenovo was back in the top position by only a small difference in share. Lenovo showed mixed regional results, as it experienced strong growth in the Americas and EMEA, while showing a major decline in Asia/Pacific. Weakness in China was most likely the contributor of Lenovo’s shipment decline in the region as the majority of Lenovo’s volume came from China.
While HP was slightly behind Lenovo, HP is a market leader in key regions including the U.S., EMEA and Latin America. Asia/Pacific has been a weakness the last three years for HP, but preliminary second quarter results suggest an improvement of their performance in the region.
Dell’s shipments declined compared to a year ago, but its 2Q13 results showed a smaller decline than the past several quarters. Dell showed good growth in the U.S. and Japan, but struggled to increase shipments in Asia/Pacific and EMEA. Both Acer and ASUS showed steep declines compared to the second quarter last year. The decline was 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,” Ms. Kitagawa said.
In the U.S. market, PC shipments totaled 15 million units in the second quarter of 2013, a 1.4% decline from the second quarter of 2012. This decline was less than the past seven quarters, and the market grew 8.5% sequentially.
“Our preliminary results indicate that this reduced market decline was attributed to solid growth in the professional market,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “Three of the major professional PC suppliers, HP, Dell and Lenovo, all registered better than U.S. average growth rate. The end of Windows XP support potentially drove the remaining PC refresh in the U.S. professional market.”
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