PC sales worldwide have seen a further decline, falling almost 10 per cent compared to the same period in 2012, as consumers continue to choose tablets, a new report claims.
Research firm Gartner reports that the third quarter of 2013, which is historically a period of growth as students and teachers return schools and colleges, PC sales totalled 80.3 million units – an 8.6 per cent decline compared to Q3 2012.
“The third quarter is often referred to as the ‘back-to-school’ quarter for PC sales, and sales this quarter dropped to their lowest volume since 2008,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.
“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. A greater availability of inexpensive Android tablets attracted first-time consumers in emerging markets, and as supplementary devices in mature markets.”
While the overall market saw a dip, manufacturers Lenovo and HP both saw growth that should give them some relief. Lenovo shipped 13.75m unit in Q3 2012, and increased that to 14.15m in Q3 2013. For HP the difference was a factional increase of an extra 200k units over 2012’s 13.5m. Dell also saw a mild increase of 100k units.
The picture was less positive for Acer and Asus, which fell by approximately 2m and 1m units respectively.
Gartner had observations of its own on these figures. While Lenovo came out on top this quarter, Gartner claims weaknesses in the Chinese market affected its overall growth, but hat was offset by strong growth in the Americas as well as Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Tablets sales have been chomping away at PC sales since the arrival of Apple’s iPad. But Gartner also blamed overall decline on a shift in inventory.
“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. 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,” said Isabelle Durand, principal research analyst at Gartner.
“Many PC vendors also introduced Android tablets as a main part of their portfolios and this initiative drove PC sales downward.”
In April, another research firm claimed that PC sales had steepest decline ever in a single quarter at the beginning of 2013.