After a dismal holiday season for the PC market, PC shipments continued to decline throughout the first quarter of 2013. Analysts do not predict that PC sales will return to 2012 levels any time soon.
Now, PC shipment numbers are out for the second quarter of 2012, and the story is much the same. Analyst firm Gartner estimates that worldwide PC shipments reached only 76 million units in the second quarter of 2013, down 10.9% from the second quarter of 2012.
“We are seeing the PC market reduction directly tied to the shrinking installed base of PCs, as inexpensive tablets displace the low-end machines used primarily for consumption in mature and developed markets,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “In emerging markets, inexpensive tablets have become the first computing device for many people, who at best are deferring the purchase of a PC. This is also accounting for the collapse of the mini notebook market.”
While PC makers Acer and Asus saw double-digit declines in PC shipments, Lenovo only saw a slight 0.6% decline in shipments. The company is now the world's top PC manufacturer with a 16.7% market share. Lenovo overtook HP, which saw a 4.8% decline in worldwide PC shipments. In the U.S. PC market declines have been less severe, with Lenovo even registering a 19.7% increase in its U.S. shipments over 2012.
PC manufacturers, and particularly HP, are now looking to the end of Windows XP support in 2014 as a possible boost to sales of new PCs. HP has estimated that as many as 40% of businesses are still running XP, which is now well over a decade old.
“Our preliminary results indicate that this reduced market decline was attributed to solid growth in the professional market,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “Three of the major professional PC suppliers, HP, Dell and Lenovo, all registered better than U.S. average growth rate. The end of Windows XP support potentially drove the remaining PC refresh in the U.S. professional market.”