Gartner: PC Market Declines -8.6%; Worst Back-to-School Quarter Since 2008

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Gartner released its report on PC shipments for the third quarter of 2013.  For the sixth consecutive quarter PC fell, a whopping -8.6% decline with 80.3 million units shipped.  The report had a more negative outlook than IDC’s report.  This is the worst back-to-school PC season since 2008.

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Similar to IDC’s report, Gartner saw Lenovo, HP, and Dell grow while Acer & ASUS declined.  Gartner believes the holiday season will be a “key indicator” for the future of the two companies.

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Acer declined 22.6% compared to a year ago while Asus saw a 22.5% decline.  Asus’ tablet shipments were nearly equal to its mobile PC shipments.  It appears the decline of the netbook market is hurting both Acer and Asus.

In the US 16.1 million units shipped in the third quarter, a 3.5% increase compared to last year.  Apple actually lost market share this quarter.  According to Gartner new form factors, models, and Intel’s Haswell chip has helped the PC market.

“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,” Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. “A greater availability of inexpensive Android tablets attracted first-time consumers in emerging markets, and as supplementary devices in mature markets.”The PC market continues to fall spectacularly, seeing the sixth consecutive quarter of declining worldwide shipments as well as the lowest back-to-school quarter since 2008. Worldwide PC shipments dropped to 80.3 million units in the third quarter of 2013, according to Gartner, an 8.6 percent decrease from the same period last year.

e Lenovo, HP, and Dell managed to grow their respective shares, this was not enough to offset the losses seen by Acer, Asus, and the rest of 

We noted last quarter that Lenovo and HP were neck-and-neck, but that a winner was emerging. Lenovo has managed to increase its lead, although it is still only a 0.5 percentage point gap. Gartner believes the upcoming holiday sales season will be “a keInterestingly though, the biggest winner was Dell. The company’s PC shipments exceeded growth rate averages across all regions, according to Gartner.Acer’s shipments declined a whopping 22.6 percent compared with a year ago, which is likely due to the reduction in netbook shipments. Asus meanwhile saw PC shipments decline 22.5 percent, despite the fact it has shifted its focus from PCs to tablets; the company’s tablet shipments were nearly equal to its mobile PC shipments in the third quarter.In the US, PC shipments totaled 16.1 million units in the third quarter of 2013, a 3.5 percent increase from the same period last year. This was the second consecutive quarter of shipment growth after six quarters of decline. There was only one company that lost share in the US: Apple. ory from the first half of 2013 as well as the introduction of new models with Intel’s Haswell, including new form factors, brought the sell-in shipment up compared with a year ago. Personally, I’m waiting for Asus to refresh its notebook lineup with Haswell before getting a new machine, so its loWhile these results are preliminary, as Gartner is merely offering its estimates, the reason for these poor sales is hardly a mystery. Once again, tablets are to blame“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,” Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. “A greater availability of inexpensive Android tablets attracted first-time consumers in emerging markets, and as supplementary devices in mature markets.”Source: The Next Web



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Suril is a scientist, journalist and obsessive Microsoft observer. He holds an advanced degree in Biotechnology with minors in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. Send him tips on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/surilamin

  • redtidal

    Buying a computer just doesn’t limit to kids going to college or high school any more. Kids now and day at all ages are required using computers to do research and homework.

    So, I think the purchase of computers for kids are now more spread out through out the years. Yes, you still have your back to school and end of year gifting, but at any given time of the year, parents might need to buy computers, either as first purchase, or a replacement.

    Some might say tablets eating into traditional PC shares. But let’s face it, you just couldn’t bang out a 8 page report on a tiny tablets, with or without keyboard.

    • Guest

      I don’t think there’s much debate that tablet sales are eating into PC sales. At a minimum it’s a companion device that takes their discretionary income which might otherwise have gone into a PC replacement, and the latter ends up getting delayed as they do more and more on their tablet. But yeah, not an 8 page report – unless you’re a lunatic or really trying to establish your “Post-PC” cred at the expense of your time.

      • grs_dev

        Actually there is. It’s been proven that tablet sales are not eating into PC sales. The numbers show it.

        It’s the OS and the cloud that are changing the way consumers and businesses consume hardware and software. It has very little to do with tablets.

        • Bugbog

          Too true. Analysts and naysayers are just not willing to consider these things within the context of current computer properties.

          I’ve been a loooong-time PC user, and I used to conform to the old industry standard of PC upgrade, i.e. every 18months I’d be looking to upgrade my PC to a more powerful one. I did this for a good 10yrs!

          However, in 2005/6, PC computational power plateaued and became “just good enough” to handle new software requirements.

          I didn’t replace my PC for another 6 years! And even then I only changed it (not for an upgrade, but a lower spec’ced unit) because I the motherboard didn’t have the necessary firmware to allow the installation of Windows 7. It hadn’t even failed yet!

          So I’d hazard, if my story is repeated across the “1st” world, one would likely be looking at the majority of PC users still having their ‘old’ desktops, but purchasing netbooks or tablets as newer companion devices.

          • Guest

            In the first world that’s probably true for many. In emerging markets, which have been the main engine of growth for the PC markets for the past half decade, the majority of consumers are purchasing a “computer” for the first time. And they’re increasing opting for a smartphone or tablet instead.

        • Yuan Taizong

          That is indeed true, storage and specs are becoming less important, as long as you can browse the web and use the Cloud for EVEYTHING, any old P.C. is just ”good enough” for both most people and enterprizes, this is also why Microsoft is putting the Cloud into everything and vice versa, they see this trend and don’t want to be held back by it, but lead it, just look at the growth of Windows Azure, 100% Cloud integration of Windows 8.1 (Blue) and integration of Bing Apps and SkyDrive into ”everything Microsoft”, this is also where most companies make their profits from, licesing software, just look at the rediculously successful Microsoft Office 365.

        • Guest

          “Actually there is. It’s been proven that tablet sales are not eating into PC sales. The numbers show it.”

          So you’re saying Gartner, IDC, and numerous others who cover this are wrong when they all conclude that tablets are having a negative impact on PC sales? While I agree with several of your other causes for why PC sales are in decline, ignoring that particular one in my view is wrong.

          • eolirin

            Depends on how you treat netbooks in terms of the PC market. Looking at the numbers, netbook sales are primarily what’s getting decimated; ultrabooks are up, full laptops seem to be doing okay.
            Netbooks were never a great option for people that needed decent computers. Tablets have a roughly similar set of tradeoffs in terms of being functional. So I’m not sure that the PC market’s growth wasn’t overinflated by netbooks, which were more companion devices in the first place, and that this isn’t mostly a reversion to mean.

      • Yuan Taizong

        I really hate those people, the fact that people are not purchasing P.C.’s can also do with the quality of older hardware, and the fact that old hardware just lasts really long, XP P.C.’s still function today as good as they did yesterday, people don’t consider upgrades because that’s ”a luxury” to most people, and personally I don’t consider Tablet-P.C.’s to be ”Post-P.C.” devices but just another form-factor of P.C.’s, which is why I hate seeing Mobile operating systems on them, they simply don’t cut it for me, Windows XP was the first O.S. to run on a Tablet-P.C. and unless the others will offer something similar, I’ll just stay with Microsoft (heck, even if they’d offer something similar, they just can’t compete with Microsoft’s quality).

    • Mark

      Here’s a non statistically valid but perhaps still representative sample from my neighborhood. Six houses. Age range from 30’s to 60’s. Children from 6 through university and some living on their own. Over the past four years only one (besides me, and I build my own) has purchased a new PC. Meanwhile all have bought at least one tablet and in some cases two or three (mostly iPads). Everyone still relies on their PC for anything intensive, which I know because I get called when anything goes wrong. But the tablet gets used with greater frequency and is the main device for checking mail, a quick web search, reading books in some cases, etc.

      The teen male children who used to spend a lot of time on their PCs gaming have now mostly abandoned that. They use Xbox or PS for hard core gaming and their smartphone for *everything* else. The small children are being given iPads which they happily play with for hours using not only basic apps, but more recently networks for children where they can meet and play with others in strictly supervised forums. So, not a particular good story if you’re in the PC business.

  • SategB

    No this is great news. It means the public full supports Ballmers new full life encompassing stratigy monetizing people high value activities. In fact the world is so excited about it and all of the services and devices coming out of this strategy they are holding off on buying any MSFT related product until the company gets it going fully!

    • Guest

      Your comments are getting even stupider. Which hardly seemed possible but somehow you’re managing to accomplish. Um…congrats?

      • SategB

        Sorry your right no one cares about Ballmers new strategy no matter how many buzzwords he uses!

        • Guest

          And darn he sure did use a bunch in his last letter, didn’t he!

  • Guest

    I pretty sure people are just waiting for Surface 2 release. Sales are going to be huge.

  • jimski27

    It’s the economy,_______. If the car is still running, and the PC is still working, no need to replace it right now. Tablets are a novelty item that many consumers get sucked into with slick marketing, only to realize later that it can’t do all the things they need it to do. Wonder how many are sitting in drawers or under magazines on the living room coffee table. This has nothing to do with Windows 8. If and when people have discretionary cash they will discover a new world with touch enabled, high powered, battery sipping devices. Businesses are a whole different world, also feeling the effects of our sluggish economy. My small company has 15 Pentium XP machines (I upgraded 2 to W8) that they won’t consider replacing till they are forced. Even the April 2014 deadline has not swayed them. Eventually, they will have to. But for now the machines are good enough.

    • Guest

      I thought the Surface ads was pretty slick marketing but no one seemed to get suck in when it came to buy them
      :(