PC Market Not as Bad as Expected During Last Quarter

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Though PC shipments in the third quarter of 2013 did decline year-over-year for the sixth straight quarter, it seems that there could be a small silver lining in the numbers. Market research firm IDC today reported that worldwide PC shipment declines were not quite as bad as analysts had predicted.

IDC's numbers put total worldwide PC shipments during the third quarter at 81.6 million units, a 7.6% drop in shipments from the third quarter of 2012. This total represents a significant improvement on IDC's third quarter predictions, which saw global PC shipments falling 9.5%. The firm attributes the better-than-expected results to a higher volume of enterprise sales.

"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," said Loren Loverde, VP of Worldwide PC Trackers at IDC. "Whether constrained by a weak economy or being selective in their tech investments, buyers continue to evaluate options and delay PC replacements. Despite being a little ahead of forecast, and the work that's being done on new designs and integration of features like touch, the third quarter results suggest that there's still a high probability that we will see another decline in worldwide shipments in 2014."

IDC's third quarter PC numbers were overall similar to other analysts, showing the the U.S. PC market is doing better than others. PC shipments during the third quarter in the U.S. were down only 0.2%. Also, Lenovo was shown to retain its current place at the top of the PC market, improving its shipments more than 2% over its third quarter 2012 shipments. HP and Dell also saw shipment improvements, while smaller PC manufacturers and Apple saw large declines.

"The United States outperformed many other regions as growth stabilized just under 0%," said Rajani Singh, senior research analyst for Personal Computers at IDC. "Continuing upgrades from Windows XP boosted shipments, particularly in the commercial desktop segment, while retail acceptance of new and emerging product categories, such as Chromebooks and Ultraslims, helped the portables segment. Nevertheless, the broad picture of the U.S. market has not changed much, with hopes for a small increase in the fourth quarter followed by a challenging 2014."

(Image courtesy Lenovo)

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