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New data show PC shipments keep spiraling downwards

Data from Gartner and IDC show that PC shipments dropped by 11 percent worldwide last quarter, as the need for x86 grows smaller and smaller.


The great decline of the PC continues, according to data released today by research firms Gartner and IDC.

Both firms estimate that PC shipments declined worldwide by approximately 11 percent year-over-year in the second quarter of 2013. However, break down the regions and a vast disparity in data appears. In the United States Gartner says that shipments only declined by 1.9 percent, while in EMEA, defined as Europe the Middle East and Africa, shipments declined by nearly 17 percent (a complete data set is not yet available for the Asia-Pacific region).

Manufacturers shipped 76 million PCs between April and June, down from 85 million during the same period last year.

IDC’s data (below) shows that Lenovo took the top PC vendor title from HP, as a result of its continued expansion and development of new products. Dell, despite its troubles with restructuring, performed better than market average by only posting a decline of 4.5 percent.

IDC Data

Two of the companies that saw the biggest decline were ASUS and Acer. In both worldwide and EMEA-specific data, ASUS and Acer’s shipments dropped spectacularly: 21 and 35 percent respectively worldwide; 35 and 39 percent in EMEA.

The drop of shipments from ASUS and Acer can largely be attributed to the fact that these companies are becoming better known for their mobile offerings than PCs. ASUS and Acer have been focusing heavily on notebook platforms, but relative to Apple and up-and-comer Samsung (in notebook/PCs) their visibility in the advertising sector is nil.

While the data shows a slight uptick the US PC market due to an improving economy and the need to move to a platform other than Windows XP come 2014, it also shows that the need for x86 for most consumers in mature markets and new consumers in emerging markets has flatlined.

The developing world has traditionally been a place where technology has skipped a generation. They embraced cell phones while infrastructure for landlines was in its infancy; now smartphones and tablets are being embraced instead of PCs. This skip is sensible, as the computing requirements for most people — email, web browsing and using social networks — can be fulfilled with a mobile device.

Overall, this data isn’t something that PC makers hoped for and it certainly will prove to be a challenge for players in the industry. But unless there is a compelling reason to upgrade one’s PC — and Windows 8 isn’t one of them — these trends will become the norm.

Source: Gartner, IDC

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