Worldwide PC shipments totalled 80.3 million units in the third quarter of 2013, an 8.6 percent decline from the same period last year, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. This marks the sixth consecutive quarter of declining worldwide shipments.
"The third quarter is often referred to as the 'back-to-school' quarter for PC sales in North America and Europe, and sales this quarter dropped to their lowest volume since 2008," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "Consumers' shift from PCs to tablets for daily content consumption continued to decrease the installed base of PCs both in mature as well as in emerging markets. A greater availability of inexpensive Android tablets attracted first-time consumers in emerging markets, and as supplementary devices in mature markets."
HP and Lenovo have been virtually neck and neck for the top global position in the PC market. Lenovo took the lead, as it did last quarter, but the upcoming holiday sales season will be a key battlefield for both companies. Lenovo accounted for 17.6 percent of global PC shipments in the third quarter, and HP had 17.1 percent of shipments, according to preliminary results (see Table 1).
Weakness in the Chinese market continued to affect Lenovo's overall growth. However, strong growth in the Americas, as well as EMEA, offset the declining PC shipments for Lenovo in the Asia/Pacific market. HP recorded positive shipment growth in 3Q13 for the first time since 1Q12. With the exception of Latin America, HP's growth exceeded the average growth across all regions.
Dell's PC shipments exceeded growth rate averages across all regions. Acer's shipments declined 22.6 percent compared with a year ago, as a reduction in netbook shipments impacted overall PC shipment results. Acer has heavily sought opportunities in other device markets. Asus saw PC shipments decline 22.5 percent. Asus has clearly shifted its focus from PCs to tablets. Asus' tablet shipments were nearly equal to its mobile PC shipments in 3Q13.
In the U.S. market, PC shipments totaled 16.1 million units in the third quarter of 2013, a 3.5 percent increase from the same period last year, registering the second consecutive quarter of shipment growth after six quarters of decline. Low inventory from the first half of 2013, and the introduction of new models with Intel's Haswell and new form factors brought the sell-in shipment up compared with a year ago.
PC shipments in EMEA totaled 22.4 million units in the third quarter of 2013, a 13.7 percent decline from the same period last year. The EMEA region suffered its sixth consecutive quarter of declining PC shipments. All areas of the region — Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa — showed a shipment decline. PC shipments across all of Eastern Europe remained weak due to the ongoing popularity of tablets and some weakening of the Russian Ruble versus the euro and U.S. dollar, which led to a PC price increase.
In Asia/Pacific, PC shipments were at 28.1 million units in the third quarter of 2013, an 11.2 percent decline from the third quarter of 2012. The region was hampered by the currency volatilities, especially in India and Indonesia, where currencies plunged to record lows. Vendors were also mindful of Windows 8.1, new models based on Intel's Bay Trail that will start shipping the following quarter. Therefore, they were careful in managing inventory.