It's well-known that the overall PC market is in a downward spiral. Quarter after quarter shipments of PCs have been falling as consumer turn toward lower-priced tablets for their basic computing needs. Even notebook PCs have seen sales drop over the past two years.
Market research firm IHS today issued a report showing that mobile PCs - that is to say, notebooks and PC tablets - are still seeing fewer year-over-year shipments. The report estimates that 52.6 million mobile PCs shipped during the fourth quarter of 2013, a 5% drop in shipments from the fourth quarter of 2012.
There was some hope from investors that PC sales during the holiday quarter might pick up, with new technology debuting and businesses being forced to upgrade their computing infrastructure from Windows XP. Shipments during the fourth quarter did represent a 9.4% increase over third quarter shipments, marking the second quarter in a row to see a quarterly rise in shipments. According to IHS, however, this wasn't enough for investors, who have to consider the fourth quarter the sixth straight quarter to see year-over-year shipment declines.
“Things were looking positive for the fourth quarter of 2013 after the third had come in on target," said Craig Stice, director for compute, servers, and storage at IHS. “But with the consumer PC market struggling, PC vendors proceeded to maintain a conservative buying plan for the holiday season with attempts to keep inventory levels lean. As a result, entry-level PCs did not make it into high volume for the holidays, and overall shipments underperformed the initial heady outlook.”
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