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Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments in the Third Quarter of 2013 Declined 8.6 Percent, Apple Down 2.3 Percent In U.S.

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, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. This marks the sixth consecutive quarter of declining worldwide shipments.

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. Notably, Apple Mac sales in the U.S. dropped by 2.3 percent year-over-year while the domestic PC market in general recorded a modest gain.

“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,” says 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.”

HP and Lenovo have been virtually neck and neck for the top global position in the PC market. Lenovo took the lead, as it did last quarter, but the upcoming holiday sales season will be a key battlefield for both companies. Lenovo accounted for 17.6 percent of global PC shipments in the third quarter, and HP had 17.1 percent of shipments, according to preliminary results (see Table 1).

Weakness in the Chinese market continued to affect Lenovo’s overall growth. However, strong growth in the Americas, as well as EMEA, offset the declining PC shipments for Lenovo in the Asia/Pacific market. HP recorded positive shipment growth in 3Q13 for the first time since 1Q12. With the exception of Latin America, HP’s growth exceeded the average growth across all regions.

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs, including mini-notebooks but not media tablets such as the iPad.
Source: Gartner (August 2013)

Dell’s PC shipments exceeded growth rate averages across all regions. Acer’s shipments declined 22.6 percent compared with a year ago, as a reduction in netbook shipments impacted overall PC shipment results. Acer has heavily sought opportunities in other device markets. Asus saw PC shipments decline 22.5 percent. Asus has clearly shifted its focus from PCs to tablets. Asus’ tablet shipments were nearly equal to its mobile PC shipments in 3Q13.

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 (see Table 2). Low inventory from the first half of 2013, and the introduction of new models with Intel’s Haswell and new form factors brought the sell-in shipment up compared with a year ago.

“The positive U.S. results could mean that seasonal strength and channel fill for new product launches in 3Q13 finally overcame the structural decline,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “Even though 3Q13 shipments were compared with artificially weak 2Q13 because of inventory control for the Windows 8 launch at the time, the 3Q13 results imply the U.S. market may have passed the worst declining stage, which started in 2010. The shrinking installed base of PCs has also passed the steepest decline phase because the structural change has progressed fairly quickly. Tablets will continue to impact the PC market, but the U.S. PC market will see a more moderate decrease rather than a steep decline in the next two years.”

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs, including mini-notebooks but not media tablets such as the iPad.
Source: Gartner (October 2013)

PC shipments in EMEA totaled 22.4 million units in the third quarter of 2013, a 13.7 percent decline from the same period last year. The EMEA region suffered its sixth consecutive quarter of declining PC shipments. All areas of the region Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa showed a shipment decline. PC shipments across all of Eastern Europe remained weak due to the ongoing popularity of tablets and some weakening of the Russian Ruble versus the euro and U.S. dollar, which led to a PC price increase.

In Asia/Pacific, PC shipments were at 28.1 million units in the third quarter of 2013, an 11.2 percent decline from the third quarter of 2012. The region was hampered by the currency volatilities, especially in India and Indonesia, where currencies plunged to record lows. Vendors were also mindful of Windows 8.1, new models based on Intel’s Bay Trail that will start shipping the following quarter. Therefore, they were careful in managing inventory.

These results are preliminary. Final statistics will be available soon to clients of Gartner’s PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region program. This program offers a comprehensive and timely picture of the worldwide PC market, allowing product planning, distribution, marketing and sales organizations to keep abreast of key issues and their future implications around the globe. Additional research can be found on Gartner’s Computing Hardware section on Gartner’s website at:
http://www.gartner.com/it/products/research/asset_129157_2395.jsp

For more information, visit:
http://www.gartner.com

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