Last week, a report from International Data Corporation (IDC) showed that PC shipments during the fourth quarter of 2012 declined by around 6.4% from the fourth quarter of 2011. Now, analyst firm Gartner has weighed in on the PC market with similar statistics.
Gartner’s research shows a 4.9% decline in PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2012 when compared to the same quarter in 2011. The firm went even further than IDC, all but stating that this is a harbinger of the predicted post-PC era.
“Tablets have dramatically changed the device landscape for PCs, not so much by ‘cannibalizing’ PC sales, but by causing PC users to shift consumption to tablets rather than replacing older PCs,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “Whereas as once we imagined a world in which individual users would have both a PC and a tablet as personal devices, we increasingly suspect that most individuals will shift consumption activity to a personal tablet, and perform creative and administrative tasks on a shared PC. There will be some individuals who retain both, but we believe they will be exception and not the norm. Therefore, we hypothesize that buyers will not replace secondary PCs in the household, instead allowing them to age out and shifting consumption to a tablet.”
Much like the IDC report, Gartner shows that the launch of Windows 8 did not re-energize the PC market the way Microsoft may have hoped. Also, HP is once again leading PC shipments worldwide, with Lenovo following close behind.
“The PC market continues to face many headwinds. The launch of Windows 8 had no impact on PC demand, especially as ultramobile products were both limited in supply, as well as being priced too high,” said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. “The holiday season mostly saw retailers clearing Windows 7 notebook inventory or driving volume of low-end notebooks. Furthermore, the increasing choice of tablets at decreasing price points no doubt became a favorite Christmas present ahead of PCs.”