Worldwide PC shipments were below estimates in Q3, according to Gartner and IDC, which pointed to consumers holding off on purchases until the promised new tablet PCs arrive.
Worldwide PC shipments fell below expectations during the third
quarter, according to market research firms Gartner and IDC. Each found
commercial refresh projects to be on target, but consumer spending
sluggish, a trend each partly attributed to the hype surrounding tablet
PCs, such as the Apple iPad.
While iPad sales weren't figured into PC shipment estimates,
anticipation of new tablets, scheduled to arrive in time for the
holidays, likely led some consumers to hold off on purchases, Gartner
and IDC said in separate Oct. 13 reports.
"Media tablets don't replace primary PCs, but they affect PC
purchases in many ways," Mikako Kitagawa, a principal analyst at
Gartner, said in a statement. "At this stage, hype around media tablets
has led consumers and the channels to take a -wait and see' approach to
buying a new device."
Gartner estimated that worldwide PC shipments grew 7.6 percent
during the quarter - a figure well below its anticipated projection of
12.7 percent - on worldwide shipments of 88.3 million units. IDC, on
estimated shipments of 89.6 million units, reported quarterly growth of
Worldwide, Hewlett-Packard led the market, despite a generally flat
year, followed by Acer and then Dell - which grew nearly 10 percent
year-on-year. In the United States, the firms agreed that HP again led,
followed by Dell. But Gartner found Acer, which generally competes
neck-and-neck with Dell, to occupy the third position, followed by
Apple in fourth, while IDC reported that the number-three spot went to
"Apple's influence on the PC market continues to grow, particularly
in the U.S., as the company's iPad has had some negative impact on the
mini-notebook market," IDC's Bob O'Donnell said in a statement. "But
the halo effect of the device also helped propel Mac sales and moved
the company into the number three position in the U.S. market."
According to IDC, HP claimed 24.3 percent of U.S. market share on
shipments of 4.6 million units (a year-on-year growth of just 2.7
percent), and Dell shipped 4.4 million units for 23.1 percent market
share, despite a year-on-year shift of negative 4.9 percent. Apple
reportedly shipped 1.999 million units for 10.6 percent market share -
a growth of 24.1 percent year-on-year growth - while fourth-place Acer
shipped 1.949 million units for 10.3 percent market share and a growth
of just 0.1 percent.
Gartner estimated that 25.3 percent of the U.S. market went to HP,
on shipments of 4.5 million units; 23.8 percent went to Dell, on 4.2
million units and Acer claimed 10.5 percent market share on shipments
of 1.85 million units. Just behind Acer, it found Apple to be fourth
place, shipping 1.83 million units for 10.4 percent of the market.
By both accounts, Lenovo, gaining more than 30 percent during the
quarter, was the number-four player worldwide, Asus also on strong
sales, thanks to the Asia/Pacific region, finished in fifth place
worldwide, and Toshiba, also growing above the market average, finished
in sixth place. In the United States, again putting in a strong
performance, Toshiba finished in fifth, with approximately 9 percent
Gartner's Kitagawa said back-to-school sales in the United States
were weak not because students weren't buying PCs, but because the
nonstudents usually attracted to back-to-school promotions held off,
again because of tablet PCs.
"These buyers were influenced by media tablet introductions, as well
as the still-gloomy economy," said Kitagawa, "since these buyers do not
have an immediate need to purchase a PC."
Chip makers Intel and Advanced Micro Devices both lowered their third-quarter expectations
due to weakening consumer PC demand. During their earnings call Oct.
12, Intel officials said consumer demand in both the United States and
Western Europe were down, but that that corporate purchase and sales in
emerging markets helped Intel hit record financial numbers for the
quarter. Intel saw more than $11 billion in revenue during those three
months. AMD is scheduled to release its third-quarter financial numbers
Still, the quarter ended strong, IDC analyst Jay Chou said the statement, offering hope for the fourth quarter.
"Lower PC component costs, budding excitement around new
media-centric form factors and continued business buying should still
make for a competitive holiday season," said Chou.