Global PC shipments fall in second-quarter

Consumers preferred to buy tablets and laptops over PCs, says Gartner report.

New Statesman
A Lenovo store in China. Credit: Getty Images.

Global personal computer (PC) shipments declined to 76 million units in the second quarter of 2013, a fall of 10.9 per cent compared to the same quarter a year ago, as most of the customers preferred to buy tablets and laptops over PCs, according to a report from research firm Gartner.

The fall, which marks five consecutive quarters of the decline in shipments, is the longest period of decline in the PC market’s history.

Region-wise, the EMEA PC market registered two consecutive quarters of double-digit decline, while the decline in the Asia/Pacific PC market continued for five consecutive quarters.

Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, said: “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.

“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 market.”

In terms of brands, Lenovo topped the shipments table, with HP falling marginally behind.

Isabelle Durand, principal research analyst at Gartner, said: “The sharp decline in the second quarter of 2013 was partly due to the shift in usage patterns away from notebooks to tablets, and partly because the PC market was exposed to inventory reductions in the channel due to the transition to new Haswell-based products.

“Touch-based notebooks still account for less than 10 per cent of the total consumer notebook shipments in the last quarter.”

During the quarter, Lenovo shipped 12,677,265 units, while HP shipped 12,402,887 units. Dell, Acer Group, and Asus were the other three in the top five shipments list.

Slowdown in Chinese markets affected Lenovo’s shipments, while sluggish demand the in Asia/Pacific region affected HP.