Study: Tablets, Smartphones hurting PC market

The worldwide PC market is in decline thanks to iOS and Android tablets, according to a new study from research firm Gartner.

The company’s research shows an 8.6 per cent drop in earnings from the same quarter last year, due in large part to consumers shifting from PCs and laptops to tablets and smartphones for their day-to-day needs.

80.3m PCs were shipped globally during Q3, 2013 – the worst quarter for the market since 2008.

Gartner points out the period typically tends to coincide with a sales increase, as parents and students purchase computers for the start of the school year.

That wasn’t the case this time around, with iOS and Android tablets seemingly taking over as the primary study device.

"Consumers’ shift from PCs to tablets for daily content consumption continued to decrease the installed base of PCs both in mature as well as in emerging markets," Gartner’s Mikako Kitagawa said.

"A greater availability of inexpensive Android tablets attracted first-time consumers in emerging markets, and as supplementary devices in mature markets."

Gartner added that EMEA territories are also in decline, dropping 13.7 per cent of sales during the quarter due to multiple factors including: Transitioning in new processors, the impending launch of Windows 8.1, and the introduction of Android tablets at various PC vendors.

"During the third quarter many vendors went through product transitions to Intel’s new Haswell and Bay Trail processors, while preparing for the October launch of Windows 8.1," Gartner’s Isabelle Durand stated.

"These product transitions and the clearing of old inventory that is taking place through the third and fourth quarters of 2013, have played a part in the slowdown of the PC market in EMEA. Many PC vendors also introduced Android tablets as a main part of their portfolios and this initiative drove PC sales downward."

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