PC shipments struggle amid tablet growth

HP retains number one position, with IDC stating an aggressive push for Windows 8 helped it lift its presence in the Asia/Pacific region and the US.

Global PC shipments dropped 6.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. The decrease is greater than the expected 4.4 per cent drop and the first time the PC market has declined year-on-year during the holiday season.

Windows 8 was launched during the quarter, with IDC saying the launch of the operating system did not have a significant impact on a sluggish PC market, as demand for tablets and smartphones increases.

“Although the third quarter was focused on the clearing of Windows 7 inventory, preliminary research indicates the clearance did not significantly boost the uptake of Windows 8 systems in Q4,” Jay Chou, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, said in a statement.

“Lost in the shuffle to promote a touch-centric PC, vendors have not forcefully stressed other features that promote a more secure, reliable and efficient user experience. As Windows 8 matures, and other corresponding variables such as Ultrabook pricing continue to drop, hopefully the PC market can see a reset in both messaging and demand in 2013.”

HP has retained the number one position, with IDC stating an aggressive push for Windows 8 helped it lift its presence in the Asia/Pacific region and the US. HP now captures 16.7 per cent of the PC market.

Lenovo grew 8.2 per cent (compared to nearly 30 per cent growth several quarters ago) and shipped more than 14 million PCs, while Dell’s PC shipments were down 20.8 per cent year-on-year.

Acer Group dropped 28.2 per cent and Asus recorded 5.6 per cent growth year-on-year.

“Despite a generally weak performance, some leading brands managed do to well relative to the market. HP, Lenovo, Asus, and Samsung were among the top performers, taking advantage of some consumer interest in Windows 8 and a push to build up their presence ahead of 2013,” David Daoud, research director, IDC U.S. Quarterly PC Tracker, said in a statement.

“Consumers expected all sorts of cool PCs with tablet and touch capabilities. Instead, they mostly saw traditional PCs that feature a new OS (Windows 8) optimised for touch and tablet with applications and hardware that are not yet able to fully utilise these capabilities.”

Follow Stephanie McDonald on Twitter: @stephmcdonald0

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