PC sales decline for seventh consecutive quarter

10 Jan 2014

Once again, PC shipments fell worldwide in the fourth quarter last year by 6.9pc, making it the seventh consecutive decline in as many quarters.

Figures released by Gartner show that in the fourth quarter of last year, there were a total of 82,633,610 PC units sold compared with 88,727,923 at the same time in 2012.

In an increasingly competitive market, PCs have been struggling to compete with the growth of tablets and smartphones as the demand for desktop PCs and laptops have dwindled.

“Strong growth in tablets continued to negatively impact PC growth in emerging markets,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “In emerging markets, the first connected device for consumers is most likely a smartphone, and their first computing device is a tablet. As a result, the adoption of PCs in emerging markets will be slower as consumers skip PCs for tablets.”

Sector leaders

The figures show that there are now two companies who are leading the pace in sales: Chinese newcomers Lenovo and the established HP, with sales figures of 14,932,408 and 13,592,600, respectively. HP has seen the largest drop in sales figures, having been 14,642,581 in 2012.

Lenovo showed strong growth in all regions, except Asia/Pacific, where the country of its origin, China, continued to be problematic in terms of sales for the company.

HP experienced a shipments decline of 7.2pc in the fourth quarter. US and Latin America were two regions where HP could not increase its shipments, and it experienced a steeper decline compared with the regional average.

Some of the other largest sellers worldwide, ASUS and Acer, have actually improved on their position last year, with both increasing in sales of 1m units.

Total shipment numbers for last year totalled 315,967,516 units compared with 351,059,698 in 2012.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic