Worldwide PC Shipments Fall Under 80 Million: Gartner

In the U.S. market, PC shipments totaled 14.2 million units in the first quarter of 2013, a 9.6 percent decline from the first quarter of 2012.

In the first quarter of 2013, global PC shipments went below 80 million units for the first time since the second quarter of 2009, and all regions showed a decrease in shipments, with the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region experiencing the steepest decline, according to a report by IT research firm Gartner.

The figure represented the fourth consecutive quarter that showed a drop in worldwide PC shipments, as worldwide PC shipments totaled 79.2 million units, an 11.2 percent decline from the first quarter of 2012. HP and Lenovo were in a virtual tie for the top position in the first quarter of 2013, however, HP recorded its worst shipment decline since the acquisition of Compaq in 2003.

"Consumers are migrating content consumption from PCs to other connected devices, such as tablets and smartphones. Even emerging markets, where PC penetration is low, are not expected to be a strong growth area for PC vendors,” Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. "Unlike the consumer PC segment, the professional PC market, which accounts for about half of overall PC shipments, has seen growth, driven by continuing PC refreshes. Despite the fact that some regions already passed the peak of PC refresh, overall professional PC demand continued to grow."

While its shipment growth rate exceeded the overall industry average, Lenovo posted the slowest growth since the first quarter of 2009 due to a shipment decline in Asia/Pacific, where more than 50 percent of Lenovo's PCs were shipped. The company’s worldwide PC shipments were flat compared with a year ago.

Lenovo and Apple were the only vendors among the top five in the United States to experience PC shipment growth in the first quarter of 2013. HP held onto the top position, accounting for 24.2 percent of PC shipments in the United States, however, its shipments declined 23.3 percent from the first quarter of 2012. Apple posted a 7.4 percent growth rate compared with the first quarter of 2012, while Lenovo grew 13.8 percent to account for just under 9 percent of the U.S. market for PCs.

Overall, PC shipments totaled 14.2 million units in the first quarter of 2013 in the U.S. market,, a 9.6 percent decline from the first quarter of 2012, marking a record of six consecutive quarters of shipment declines.

"Although the overall economy had some upward momentum, it did not help buoy PC growth, suggesting the economic recovery is having little impact on PC market conditions," Kitagawa said. "Similar to other mature markets, the U.S. will see the installed base of consumer PCs decrease going forward. This is because many of these systems will not be replaced with PCs; they will be displaced by other devices, or simply retired."