The latest reports from Gartner and IDC reveal that total PC
shipments declined in the fourth quarter of 2013, the seventh
consecutive quarter of decline.
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Industry research firm, Gartner, is of the opinion that the PC
industry is going through the most difficult time as annual sales
declined 6.9% on a year-over year basis to 85.6 million units in
the fourth quarter of 2013. The decline in global PC shipments is
largely due to a shift in consumer preference toward tablets and
mobile devices in emerging markets.
As per data provided by IDC, PC shipments contracted 5.6% on a
year-over year basis to 82.2 million units in the fourth quarter
of 2013. The decline was narrower than the research firm's
forecast of a 6.0% drop in 2013, aided by growth in the
commercial market. Moreover, for full year 2013, PC shipments
declined 10.0% on a year-over-year basis, primarily due to the
continued shift in consumer preferences toward mobile devices.
But the research firm also stated that the PC market in developed
markets such as the U.S. appeared to be stabilizing, with tablet
cannibalization tapering off.
PC makers such as
) and Dell Inc. have incurred heavy losses in their PC business.
This decline resulted in Hewlett-Packard losing ground to Lenovo
in the fourth quarter.
Another major reason for the decline in PC sales is related to
the cost of the devices. In the emerging markets, consumers are
opting for relatively inexpensive mobile computing devices such
as tablets at the entry level.
As per data provided by Gartner, Lenovo, with an 18.1% share of
shipments, remained the market leader ahead of H-P. Additionally,
shipment volumes increased 6.6% year over year.
Hewlett-Packard slipped to the second position with a 16.4% share
of shipments, up a marginal 0.1% on a year-over-year basis.
Shipment volume declined 7.2%.
Dell secured the third place, with a shipment share of 11.8%, up
from 10.4% a year earlier, along with increase in shipment volume
Acer occupied the fourth place with a 7.8% share of shipments
compared with 8.7% in the year-ago period. Additionally, shipment
volumes also dropped 16.0%.year over year. IDC's data more or
less matches with Gartner, but is not exactly the same.
H-P secured the top spot in the U.S. with a 26.5% share of the
market, followed by Dell with 22.8% share.
) came in third, with a 13.7% share, down from 9.9% in the
year-ago quarter. Lenovo held the fourth position with strong
U.S. shipments and a 9.7% share of the market. It shipped 1.52
million units, following Apple's 2.17 million units.
We believe that the continuous decline in PC shipments raises a
question regarding the future of the PC industry. The decline
will badly hurt the business prospects of companies relying
substantially on the sale of PC's. This apart, the allied
industries related to PC, such as IT security service providers
) MacAfee may also feel the heat due to declining PC sales.
The ability to innovate and migrate to mobile platforms and/or
data centers may be the only possible solution for these players.