PC sales decline as buyers wait for Windows 8

PC shipments across Asia Pacific declined by 5.6 per cent quarter-on-quarter as buyers wait for Windows 8 and purchase alternative products such as tablets, according to preliminary Gartner figures.

Around 31.3 million PCs were shipped in the region in the third quarter of 2012 and "weak demand was brought about as potential buyers chose to reign in or delay their purchases,” Gartner said.

Gartner said China’s slowing economy was more acutely felt in the region in the third quarter, creating an even more conservative approach to spending. Although there were government PC initiatives in India and China to drive PC sales, they failed to offset the general market weakness, the research firm said.

Worldwide PC shipments also fell by 8.3 per cent during calendar Q3 compared to the same period in 2011 due to a continuing slowdown in consumer PC sales. Just over 87.5 million units were shipped during the quarter.

“The third quarter was also a transitional quarter before Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system release, so shipments were less vigorous as vendors and their channel partners liquidated inventory,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

Lenovo took the number one position in the PC market for the first time in the company’s history, shipping around 13.7 million units (15.7 per cent market share) during the quarter.

The company was ahead of HP, which shipped 13.5 million units, giving it a 15.5 per cent market share, down from 17 per cent last year. This is the first time HP has lost its number one position since the third quarter of 2006.

Dell also lost ground, shipping 9.2 million units, earning it a 10.5 per cent share of the global market down from 11.2 per cent in Q3, 2011.

Meanwhile, worldwide tablet sales are growing strongly with 113 million units expected to be shipped this year, compared to 59.9 million units in 2011. Gartner expects this market to increase to 165.5 million in 2013.

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