Look Out Below: PC Shipments Decrease for Sixth Consecutive Quarter
The PC industry isn’t looking pretty. For the past six consecutive quarters PC shipments have continued to decline, a trend that is expected to continue. New reports by both Gartner and IDC do not look promising at all. “Worldwide PC shipments totaled 80.3 million units in the third quarter of 2013, an 8.6 percent decline from the same period last year,” said Gartner in its report.
“The third quarter is often referred to as the ‘back-to-school’ quarter for PC sales, and sales this quarter dropped to their lowest volume since 2008,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “Consumers’ shift from PCs to tablets for daily content consumption continued to decrease the installed base of PCs both in mature as well as in emerging markets. A greater availability of inexpensive Android tablets attracted first-time consumers in emerging markets, and as supplementary devices in mature markets.”
Ouch. In terms of who is leading the pack when it comes to shipments, Lenovo has that honor, having shipped 14.1 million PC’s. That be said, HP isn’t too far behind Lenovo when it comes to PC shipments having shipped 13.7 million of its own.
One interesting tidbit from the report is that in the U.S. market, PC shipments totaled 16.1 million units in the third quarter of 2013, a 3.5 percent increase from the same period last year, registering the second consecutive quarter of shipment growth after six quarters of decline. However, that increase was mostly attributed to businesses upgrading their computers from Windows XP to Windows 7 or later, as Windows XP is expected to no longer receive support from Microsoft starting in April 2014.
When it came to looking at just the PC vendors shipments in the U.S., HP and Dell sat atop the list with 4.3 million and 3.3 million shipments respectively, and Apple came in third on the list. Interestingly enough, Apple is reported to have a 2.3 percent decline in shipments while all the other major vendors had an increase in shipments in the U.S.
The picture is certainly a bleak one for the PC industry as more people move to using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to do more of their daily computing. I personally don’t foresee this trend changing, people will be replacing their traditional PC’s (desktops and laptops) much less frequently as the iPad and other tablets continue to become more functional and offer more features that allow most consumers to do everything that they would need to do. And as we noted back in July, other devices such as Google Chromebooks are also becoming more popular alternatives to traditional PC’s as well.
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