6th consecutive fall in PC shipments across the world

Date: 09/10/2013
The desktop and the notebook PC market is not growing the way it has grown earlier to the successful launch of Tablet computer. Whenever a new microprocessor launched by Intel or a new software launched by Microsoft, there used to be a big jump in the sales of both the desktop as well as notebook computers. That's not the case now in 2013 and also in year 2012. The well-known reason is availability of low-cost less power consuming portable tablet computer.

In its latest study, market researcher Gartner has reported the worldwide PC shipments have totaled 80.3 million units in the third quarter of 2013, an 8.6 percent decline from the same period in year 2012. This is the sixth consecutive fall in shipments.

The regular user of personal computer now preferring to buy a tablet rather than investing in upgrading PC. And also the new buyers preferring more of a tablet computer than a desktop or notebook computer. The cost and portability looks to be the criteria. Good-quality tablet computers are available in the price of Rs 6500 (US$100) to Rs 13000 (US$200). Whereas a good quality notebook computer costs anything above Rs. 26,000 (US$400).

For many users, a computer is required for sending mails surfing net, and editing some personal documents, all this now can be done in a tablet computer and a also in large screen smart phone.

But for high end computing requirements, such as editing bigger documents or editing images/videos and also to do academic research in science fields desktop or notebook computer is a must.

Below are some of the other market findings shared by Gartner on the latest PC market:
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.

desktop pc

Source: Gartner (October 2013)

The PC market in EMEA showed a 13.7 percent decline in shipments during the third quarter of 2013, over the same period last year. This marks the sixth consecutive quarter of decreasing PC shipments in EMEA, with a fall of 8.2 percent quarter on quarter.

"During the third quarter many vendors went through product transitions to Intel's new Haswell and Bay Trail processors, while preparing for the October launch of Windows 8.1. These product transitions and the clearing of old inventory that is taking place through the third and fourth quarters of 2013, have played a part in the slowdown of the PC market in EMEA," said Isabelle Durand, principal research analyst at Gartner. "Many PC vendors also introduced Android tablets as a main part of their portfolios and this initiative drove PC sales downward."

Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa all showed a shipment decline. "In Eastern Europe the decline was due to the continued popularity of tablets as well as some weakening of the Russian Ruble against the Euro and the U.S. Dollar, which led to price increases," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. "Moreover, growing economic concerns in Russia over a slowdown in GDP led to weaker consumer confidence and more cautious spending on devices in this third quarter. The demand for PCs in the Middle East and Africa also continued to slow as tablet adoption increased particularly in the Middle East."

In the third quarter of 2013, HP retained the top position in the PC market in EMEA. Lenovo had a fifth consecutive quarter of growth, which helped it move to the No. 2 spot, and achieved the best performance of the top five PC vendors in the third quarter of 2013. Lenovo's double-digit growth was mainly due to strong sales of mobile PCs, where it introduced several new products during the third quarter of 2013.

The consumer-focused PC vendors, Acer and Asus, experienced a double-digit shipment decline during the third quarter of 2013, as both vendors continued to shift their investments from consumer PCs to tablet and hybrid form factors.

desktop pc

Source: Gartner (October 2013)

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.

Author: Srinivasa Reddy N
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