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Worst decline in PC market history: Gartner

Worst decline in PC market history: Gartner

For all of 2013, PC shipments declined by 10 per cent

The humble PC suffered its worst ever shipments decline last year, according to Gartner.

For all of 2013, PC shipments declined by 10 per cent – the worst decline in PC history – to levels not seen since 2009.

PC shipments in the last quarter of the year declined by 6.9 per cent, to 82.6 million, compared with the same quarter a year ago.

All regions except Japan declined, while PC shipments in Asia Pacific totalled 26.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013, a 9.8 per cent decline compared the previous year.

Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa said although PC shipments continued to decline in the worldwide market in the fourth quarter, he increasingly believed markets, such as the US, had bottomed out.

"Strong growth in tablets continued to negatively impact PC growth in emerging markets," he said.

"In emerging markets, the first connected device for consumers is most likely a smartphone, and their first computing device is a tablet.

“As a result, the adoption of PCs in emerging markets will be slower as consumers skip PCs for tablets."

HP and Lenovo have been neck and neck for the top global position in the PC market throughout 2013.

Lenovo took the lead in the fourth quarter, as it did last quarter, accounting for 18.1 percent of global PC shipments.

Lenovo showed strong growth in all regions, except Asia/Pacific, where China continued to be a problematic country for the company.

HP experienced a shipments decline of 7.2 percent in the fourth quarter.

Dell continued to hold third position and accounted for 11.8 percent of the market.

With the completion of the leveraged buyout, Dell has redefined its strategic focus onto its PC and device businesses.

Dell's focus is now beyond its traditional strength in the professional PC market; its focus is now also on consumer PCs, particularly in emerging markets.

Acer and Asus's ranking remained unchanged compared with a year ago. Both companies have more focus on tablets, and their fourth-quarter results clearly proved their strategic focus.

PC shipments in Asia/Pacific totalled 26.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013, a 9.8 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2012.

Again, buyers did not place a priority on PC purchases, preferring to spend on alternative devices such as smartphones.

Some continued to delay their purchases of a PC as their requirements, such as entertainment and information access, can be addressed by other devices, such as tablets.

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