PC sales go into freefall - TechCentral

PC sales go into freefall


The personal computer industry is under severe pressure. New, preliminary data from research and analyst firm Gartner shows that 79,2m PCs were shipped in the first quarter of 2013, an 11,2% decline over the same quarter in 2012. This is the first time the number had fallen below 80m since the second quarter of 2009.

The Europe, Middle East and Africa (Emea) region, which includes South Africa, experienced the steepest decline, the Gartner data suggests.

PC sales have now been in decline for four consecutive quarters, says Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa. The fall in sales is as a result of consumers migrating their consumption of content from PCs to other connected devices, especially tablets and smartphones. Even emerging markets, where PC penetration is low, are not expected to be a strong growth area for PC vendors.

“Unlike the consumer PC segment, the professional PC market, which accounts for about half of overall PC shipments, has seen growth, driven by continuing PC refreshes. Despite the fact that some regions already passed the peak of PC refresh, overall professional PC demand continued to grow,” Kitagawa says.

Worldwide, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo were almost tied for first place in the first quarter. HP turned in its worst shipment decline since it bought Compaq is 2003. Gartner says this was as a result of poor performance by HP’s consumer business, although its professional business was also under attack by competitors.

Lenovo’s worldwide PC shipments were flat compared to a year ago. The Chinese company’s shipment growth rate exceeded the overall industry average, but it was its slowest growth since the first quarter of 2009 as the result of a decline in shipments in Asia-Pacific, its biggest market.

Dell also had a challenging quarter, registering a shipment decline in all regions except Japan, according to Gartner.

Emea suffered its biggest decline in PC sales since Gartner began publishing quarterly PC market share statistics. The region was affected by a “fundamental shift in the role of PCs in the consumer market”, says Gartner principal research analyst Isabelle Durand. “Consumers’ content consumption was — and still is — moving from PCs to other types of connected devices. Even in Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa, where PC penetration is low, growth in PC shipments was down as first-time device buyers chose other devices.”

Emea PC vendor unit shipment estimates

CompanyShipments Q1 2013Market share Q1 2013Shipments Q1 2012Market share Q1 2012Growth (%)

HP remained the biggest vendor in Emea, although it also showed the biggest decline in growth, off by 32,1% compared to the first quarter of 2012. Acer is second, down by 24,1%, with Lenovo in third place, having risen by 11,1%.  — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media

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