PC sales fall as makers fail to win back tablet customers
Demand at lowest level since 2008 as demand drops from school students
Sales of personal computers fell for the sixth quarter in a row, to 80.3 million units globally.
Worldwide personal-computer shipments fell in the third quarter, reaching their lowest level for the period since 2008, amid lackluster demand from students returning to school, market researcher Gartner said.
In the sixth consecutive quarterly decline, global unit sales fell 8.6 per cent to 80.3 million, Gartner said yesterday in a statement.
Growth in the US, where shipments climbed 3.5 per cent, helped make up for weak volume in other regions, the Stamford, Connecticut-based firm said.
Lenovo Group maintained its number one spot in the worldwide market, followed by Hewlett-Packard, which was the top seller in the US.
PC makers haven’t rolled out new products capable of winning back consumers who have been migrating to cheaper tablets to connect to the Internet, Gartner said.
Consumer demand typically rises in the third quarter, boosted by back-to-school purchases.
“Consumers’ shift from PCs to tablets for daily content consumption continued to decrease the installed base of PCs both in mature as well as in emerging markets,” Mikako Kitagawa, an analyst at Gartner, said in the statement.
“A greater availability of inexpensive Android tablets attracted first-time consumers in emerging markets, and as supplementary devices in mature markets.”
Researcher IDC, which also released its third-quarter PC rankings yesterday, said the global market shrank 7.6 per cent to 81.6 million units, compared with its earlier prediction for a 9.5 per cent contraction.
Business purchases and a boost from a coming update to Microsoft ’s Windows 8 operating system accounted for the smaller-than-projected decline, IDC said.
“The third quarter was pretty close to forecast, which unfortunately doesn’t reflect much improvement in the PC market, or potential for near-term growth,” Loren Loverde, an analyst at Framingham, Massachusetts-based IDC, said.
“The third-quarter results suggest that there’s still a high probability that we will see another decline in worldwide shipments in 2014.”
Shipments fell in 2012, and IDC forecasts a 9.7 per cent drop in unit sales this year.
Beijing-based Lenovo held a 17.6 per cent market share worldwide, helped by a 2.8 per cent increase in shipments, Gartner said.
Hewlett-Packard retained its number two spot after a 1.5 per cent gain in unit sales, giving it a 17.1 per cent share. Dell came in third with a 11.6 per cent slice of the market, and a 1 per cent jump in third-quarter shipments.
Taiwan’s Acer and Asustek Computer Inc both posted shipment declines of more than 20 per cent, Gartner said.
While sales in the US may have “passed the worst declining stage,” according to Gartner’s Kitagawa, other regions posted double-digit percentage drops.