PC sales fall by 6 pct to 11 pct in US during 2Q

Jul 12, 2012 by MICHAEL LIEDTKE

(AP) — U.S. personal computer sales sagged during the spring as shifting technology trends, upcoming product releases and a shaky economy dampened demand for the machines currently on the market.

The second-quarter decline in the U.S. ranged from 6 percent to 11 percent compared with the same time last year, according to separate reports released Wednesday by Gartner Inc. and International Data Corp. Gartner came up with the lower of the two figures in the research firms' quarterly look at shipments of desktop and laptop computers.

Worldwide PC shipments held up better during the quarter, dipping by just 0.1 percent from last year.

This marks the seventh consecutive quarter in which global PC shipments have either decreased or edged up only slightly from the previous year, according to Gartner's calculations.

Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Inc., the biggest PC makers in the U.S. market, suffered the steepest drops during the three months spanning from April through June.

HP's second-quarter shipments in the U.S. fell by 12 percent or 13 percent, according to the reports, while Dell's sales in the country decreased by about 9 percent.

The slump represents another setback for HP, a Silicon Valley pioneer that has been struggling to boost its profits during the past two years. At one point last year, HP considered selling or spinning off its PC business, but that idea was abandoned after the company hired Meg Whitman as its CEO nearly 10 months ago. Since her arrival, Whitman has drawn up plans to eliminate 27,000 jobs during the next three years to save up to $3.5 billion annually.

Dell also is planning to trim more than $2 billion from its annual expenses as it adjusts to the upheaval in the PC market.

Consumers and businesses have been buying fewer PCs during the past two years amid the growing popularity of smartphones and tablet computers such as Apple Inc.'s iPad. The iPad's success has spurred Apple's rivals to copy the concept, causing some analysts to predict that tablet computer sales will surpass PC sales within the next few years.

PC makers have tried to adapt by releasing sleeker laptops known as "ultrabooks," but IDC said many of those devices remain too expensive for many households at time of high unemployment and persistent fears of another economic downturn.

The interest in ultrabooks also has been tempered by the buildup for the next version of the Windows operating system that runs most PCs. Windows maker Microsoft Corp. has redesigned the software so applications are now spread across a mosaic of tiles and engineered the system so it can run on touch-based tablets as well as PCs controlled by keyboards and mice. PCs and tablets running on Windows 8 won't go on sale until October, causing some prospective PC buyers to hold off until they can see what kind of new devices and applications the new operating system inspires.

The Windows 8 anticipation will probably hurt PC sales in the current quarter ending in September, too, according to David Daoud, IDC's research director.

Even when Windows 8 hits the market, PC makers will face a new competitive threat from their longtime partner, Microsoft. The world's largest software maker last month announced plans to sell its own tablet computer, called the Surface, to battle the iPad.

Explore further: Sony's quarterly loss balloons on mobile woes

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Allure of iPad, other tablets hurting PC sales

Apr 14, 2011

Last year, the popularity of Apple Inc.'s iPad hurt PC sales. This year, that trend is continuing, as new data from two market research firms indicate PC shipments declined in the first three months of 2011.

Global PC sales flat as consumers eye new gadgets

Jul 11, 2012

Worldwide sales of personal computers fell 0.1 percent in the second quarter of the year as consumers turned their attention to newer gadgets like tablets, a survey showed Wednesday.

PC shipments to improve in 2012, but still modest

Mar 20, 2012

(AP) -- Worldwide shipments of personal computers will pick up in the second half of the year with the debut of a new Windows operating system and the broader availability of notebooks that are thin like tablet computers, ...

IPad Impact: Tablets contribute to PC market pain

Oct 14, 2010

(AP) -- Few companies can disrupt an entire industry with a single product launch. But Apple Inc., whose history is filled with such game-changing moments, has done it again with its iPad tablet.

Recommended for you

Sony's quarterly loss balloons on mobile woes

20 hours ago

Sony's losses ballooned to 136 billion yen ($1.2 billion) last quarter as the Japanese electronics and entertainment company's troubled mobile phone division reported huge red ink.

Will Apple Pay be mobile pay's kick-start?

Oct 30, 2014

If anyone can get us to use our smartphones as wallets, it's Apple. That's what experts think about the recent launch of Apple Pay, the first mobile wallet to work on an iPhone.

Google execs discuss regulation, innovation and bobble-heads

Oct 30, 2014

Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg help run Google, one of the world's best-known, most successful - and most controversial - companies. They've just published a new book, "How Google Works," a guide to managing what they ...

LinkedIn reports 3Q loss but sales climb

Oct 30, 2014

LinkedIn Corp. posted a third-quarter loss on Thursday, but its results were better than expected as revenue grew sharply, sending shares of the online professional networking service higher in extended trading.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.