PC industry continues to shrink – falls 10.9pc in second quarter

12 Jul 2013

The decline of the PC industry continues with shipments falling 10.9pc in the second quarter compared with last year, according to Gartner. This is the fifth consecutive quarter of declines in PC shipments – the longest duration of decline in the PC market’s history.

It is also the second consecutive quarter of double-digit decline in the EMEA PC market.

The decline is being accelerated by the uptake of tablet and smartphone devices, explained Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa.

“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,” Kitagawa said.

“In emerging markets, 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 collapse of the mini notebook (netbook) market.”

Lenovo led the overall market by a small share, followed closely by HP. Lenovo’s fortunes were affected by weak demand in China while HP continues to enjoy market leadership in the US and EMEA.

Dell showed good growth in the US and Japan, but struggled in EMEA and the Asia-Pacific region.

Acer and ASUS both reported steep declines, due primarily to their efforts to exit the netbook market.

Windows 8 not to blame for market decline

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“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 market performance,” she said.

On a positive note, the market decline of 1.7pc in the influential US market was less than in the past seven quarters and the market grew 8.5pc sequentially.

“Our preliminary results indicate that this reduced market decline was attributed to solid growth in the professional market,” Kitagawa said.

“Three of the major professional PC suppliers, HP, Dell and Lenovo, all registered better than US average growth rate. The end of Windows XP support potentially drove the remaining PC refresh in the US professional market.” 

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Damaged PC image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years