PC market in ‘downward spiral’

News Feb 14, 2013

Shift to other smartphones and tablets a permanent trend, says Gartner

The PC market in Western Europe is in a downward spiral, according to latest figures from Gartner.

In 2012, PC shipments reached 58m units, a decrease of 8.4 percent from 2011.

“The second consecutive yearly decline indicates that the issues the PC market faces are beyond a weak economy, a poorly understood new operating system, or Ultramobiles being priced too high to generate demand,” comments Meike Escherich, principal research analyst at Gartner.

In the UK the PC market declined three percent totalling 11.7m units, after a fall of 13 percent in 2011.

“Any seasonal consumer upturn in the fourth quarter of 2012 failed to occur,” adds Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. “The shift to other devices has become a permanent trend, leaving the PC market struggling to show value, either from Windows 8 or the new thinner and lighter PCs.”

While the consumer PC market continued to decline, there is some good news in the for the professional PC market, which returned to growth after two consecutive quarters of decline

“While PC vendors keep hoping for a ‘PC plus’ era, in reality we are in a smartphone/tablet era, where tablets are winning the battle for content consumption and smartphones are at the forefront of mobility.

“PCs are continuing to be marginalised and 2013 will be no different,” comments Atwal.

In the fourth quarter of 2012 in the UK, HP extended its lead and remained in pole position, with strong growth in both consumer and professional PC markets. Dell’s consumer PC market continued to shrink, but in common with most of the top five vendors, saw an upturn in the professional PC market, where Lenovo took the lead with a 45 percent increase in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Lenovo’s strong performance in the professional PC market helped to close the gap with Dell during the same quarter.

Sales of tablets, meanwhile, grew 267 percent in the UK between 2011 and to 2012.

United Kingdom: PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q12 (Thousands of Units)

Company 4Q12 Shipments 4Q12 Market Share (%) 4Q11 Shipments 4Q11 Market Share (%) 4Q11-4Q12 Growth (%)
HP 676 21.8 618 19.8 9.4
Dell 334 10.8 407 13.0 -18.0
Lenovo 325 10.5 225 7.2 44.9
Acer Group 270 8.7 221 7.1 22.4
Asus 257 8.3 138 4.4 87.4
Others 1,242 39.9 1,517 48.5 22.4
Total 3,104 100.0 3,126 100.0 -0.7

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs. Media tablets are excluded.

Source: Gartner (February 2013)

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Image: Shutterstock

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