PC shipments continue to slide as tablets and smartphone sales soar

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windows-8-screen.jpgPC shipments worldwide continue to slide in the wake of the tablet and smartphone revolution, with the first quarter of 2013 seeing only 76.3 million machines ship, resulting in the PC market’s biggest ever decline.

IDC, which has tracked PC shipments since 1994, saw the number of devices shipped fall 13.9% over the same quarter in 2012; a far greater decline than the 7.7% forecasted.

Defining PCs as desktops, portables, notebooks and workstations (but not x86 servers or tablets), HP stayed on top as the leading vendor with a 15.7% marketshare. But even that was as part of a 23.7% decline in shipments overall compared to the previous year. Lenovo saw now growth in second place with a 15.3% market share, while Dell sat in third with an 11.8% market share and a 10.9% overall decline. Acer suffered massively, sitting in fourth place with an 8.1% marketshare and hit with a whopping 31.3% decline overall. ASUS round out the top five with a 5.7% marketshare and a 19.2% drop in growth.
pc-shipments-2013.jpg“Although the reduction in shipments was not a surprise, the magnitude of the contraction is both surprising and worrisome,” said David Daoud at IDC.

“The industry is going through a critical crossroads, and strategic choices will have to be made as to how to compete with the proliferation of alternative devices and remain relevant to the consumer.”

While tablet and smartphone sales take most of the blame for the decline, poor marketing of Windows 8 is also raised as a potential factor by IDC.

“While some consumers appreciate the new form factors and touch capabilities of Windows 8, the radical changes to the UI, removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices,” said Bob O’Donnell at IDC.

However, even tablet market leaders Apple with the iPad have seen the tablet market spike have an adverse effect on their own computer sales. At the company’s Christmas-season earnings call the company say Mac sales sitting at 4.1 million, down from 5.2 million the previous quarter.

Gerald Lynch