PC market continues to shrink as tablets thrive

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jul 12, 2013

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Increased adoption of smartphones and tablets continues to hit the sales of PC market worldwide, which saw a 10.9% decline from the corresponding period last year, according to a recent report by Gartner. PC shipments worldwide stood at 76 million units in the second quarter of 2013. The research firm reveals that this marks a fifth consecutive quarter of declining shipments, which has been the longest duration in the history of PC shipment drop.

When compared to the same time in 2012, every region across the world witnessed a decline in PC shipments. However, the fall in the Asia-Pacific PC market continued to be very strong when compared to Europe, West Asia and Africa.

According to Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, “In emerging markets, inexpensive tablets have become the first computing device for many people, who at best are deferring the purchase of a PC. This is also accounting for the collapse of the mini notebook market.”

According to the report, in the Asia-Pacific, PC shipments surpassed 26.8 million units in the second quarter, an 11.5% fall from the June quarter of 2012. Although shipment remained weak in most countries in this region, India performed slightly better due to a state PC tender fulfillment. Nevertheless, Indian enterprises are also moving to smartphones and tablets for their day-to-day activities, especially with the rise of mobile workforce and the PC vendors do not see much hope in the coming years.

Currently, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo dominated the PC landscape with shares of 16.3% and 16.7% respective. While most business users and consumers in the Americas and the Europe, West Asia and Africa regions showed a preference for Lenovo, it saw a sharp decline in Asia-Pacific. HP on the other hand, retained the top position in EMEA due to better results in the professional PC market. PC manufacturer Dell’s shipments declined in the quarter compared to the year-ago period. All the leading brands showed a major decline in the Asia-Pacific market.

In another report released in April 2013, Gartner predicts although the proliferation of lower-priced tablets and their growing capability is accelerating the shift from PCs to tablets, some businesses and end user consumers will retain both devices at present. However, research firms such as Gartner and IDC both predict that the PC market will continue to decline in the next five years, paving way for greater adoption of mobile devices.

Mobile devices are at least elongating PC replacement cycles if not outright replacing them, believe analysts. This is a negative sign for large PC players such as Dell and HP unless they roll up their sleeves and shift towards mobile. The mobile trend currently proves to be positive for companies such as Apple, Google and Samsung. A number of semiconductor companies such as Broadcom and Qualcomm benefit from this trend.