PC Shipments Continued to Decline Over the Holidays


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It's a brand new year, but the story is largely the same for PC manufacturers. Much like last year, PC shipments continued to decline during the all-important holiday sales quarter.

Market research firm IDC this week released its PC shipment estimates for the fourth quarter of 2013 and the industry has declined, as expected. The firm estimates that PC shipments during the fourth quarter were down 5.6% from the fourth quarter of 2012 - a significant contraction, though one that doesn't quite hit IDC's initial prediction of a 6% shipment decline.

"The PC market again came in very close to expectations, but unfortunately failed to significantly change the trajectory of growth," said Loren Loverde, VP of Worldwide PC Trackers at IDC. "Total shipments have now declined for seven consecutive quarters, and even the holiday shopping season was unable to inspire a turn in consumer spending. Although U.S. growth slipped a little in the fourth quarter, other regions all improved, reinforcing our view that growth rates will continue to improve gradually during 2014 despite remaining in negative territory."

IDC estimates that PC industry shipments as a whole declined 10% from those seen in 2012. This continuing decline demonstrates just how aggressively the tablet industry is growing and a shift in consumer needs to relatively low-priced mobile devices.

Though HP did manage to take back its market share lead from Lenovo during the third quarter of 2013, the company saw an over 8% shipment decline during the holiday quarter. Lenovo, on the other hand, saw 9% year-over-year shipment growth and led the PC industry with over 15 million units shipped.

"In the United States, market leader HP had a difficult quarter, contracting -12.3% year on year as the market slowed following an HP surge in the third quarter," said Rajani Singh, senior research analyst for Personal Computing at IDC. "However, Asian majors like Lenovo and Samsung achieved strong double-digit growth, driven partly by a modest commercial uptick and partly due to retail acceptance of their emerging product categories, such as Chromebooks.