PC sales slide again, Lenovo takes top spot: survey

Jul 10, 2013
Customers check the Apple's tablet iPads at an electronics shop on May 31, 2013. Worldwide sales of personal computers dropped for a fifth consecutive quarter in the April-June period, the longest decline in the PC market's history, a research firm said Wednesday.

Worldwide sales of personal computers dropped for a fifth consecutive quarter in the April-June period, the longest decline in the PC market's history, a research firm said Wednesday.

The survey by Gartner found China's Lenovo edging past Hewlett-Packard as the world's largest vendor, reclaiming the top spot it had captured briefly last year.

The preliminary figures showed a worldwide drop of 10.9 percent in the second quarter compared with the same period a year ago, with PC shipments falling to 76 million units.

"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, analyst at Gartner.

"In , 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 of the market."

Gartner's survey showed Lenovo taking a 16.7 percent with shipments of 12.67 million units, just ahead of HP's 12.4 million and 16.3 percent share. Both firms saw sales declines, but Lenovo's was limited to 0.6 percent while HP sales fell 4.8 percent.

Dell was the number three vendor, with sales of 8.9 million and a market share of 11.8 percent.

Number four vendor Acer experienced a drop of 35 percent, and fifth-place Asus showed a 20.5 percent drop as the two Taiwan-based firms decided to exit the mini-notebook market.

The PC market has been struggling amid a shift to tablets, and got little help from the new Windows 8 operated system introduced by Microsoft last year.

"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 ," Kitagawa said.

Apple was not among the top five global vendors, but was third in the US market with a 4.3 percent drop in sales in the past quarter, Gartner said.

Overall US sales totaled 15 million units in the second quarter, a 1.4 percent decline from a year earlier, and the figure was 8.5 percent higher than the first quarter.

Kitagawa said the US market showed resilience because of "solid growth in the professional market," with some replacements of corporate computers.

In the region including Europe, the Middle East and Africa, PC sales saw a 16.8 percent year-over-year drop, Gartner said. In Asia, the drop was 11.5 percent.

A separate survey by research firm IDC showed a similar picture, estimating the decline at 11.4 percent and 75.6 million units.

But IDC said the decline was not as bad as its earlier forecasts.

"We are still looking for some improvement in growth during the second half of the year," said Jay Chou, an IDC analyst.

"While efforts by the PC ecosystem to bring down price points and embrace touch computing should make PCs more attractive, a lot still needs to be done in launching attractive products and addressing competition from devices like tablets."

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5 / 5 (4) Jul 11, 2013
""While efforts by the PC ecosystem to bring down price points and embrace touch computing should make PCs more attractive,... "

Exactly the problem. They don't get it! The LAST damn thing I want to do is to take my hands off of my mouse and keyboard, reach out and touch my screen. That just screws up productivity on my PC big time. I have been in the market for a new PC, or two, but not until they figure out I'm not using a tablet or a phone. I get a LOT of work done with an interface that works like I do. Reaching out an touching my screen is a no-go, and a massive step backwards.

And Microsoft's decisions to do eliminate a person's well-honed usefulness at the PC is the most bizarre thing I could imagine. What in the hell are they thinking? There is no way I am going to buy a new machine with Windows 8 or 8.1.

Is everyone's development staff these days manned exclusively by a bunch of of kids who only own phones?
1 / 5 (7) Jul 11, 2013
Is everyone's development staff these days manned exclusively by a bunch of of kids who only own phones?

Not development staff - but management staff undoubtedly is. These guys really can/do work only with phones.
1.4 / 5 (10) Jul 11, 2013
You're preaching to choir with that one. If anything I wish my phone & tablet had a more PC like interface.

Although on the bright side I needed a couple more workstations for the office a month ago. Instead of dropping $3000-$4000 on new units, I hit up ebay bought 4 Windows 7 machines, some RAM and a few other various other components.

I don't think I spent more than $1200 total. Maybe a little more with shipping but I still doubt it.

Thanks M$!
not rated yet Jul 11, 2013
Home PCs won't be so popular. PCs will still be around, but mostly for business and professional use. Microsoft's attempt to create a unified computing device environment seems to have accomplished the opposite, stratifying users into distinct, immiscible segments.