PC sales fall, could be worse

Figures from IDC Research and Gartner show PC demand slowed further in the third quarter of 2013, but there are a few chinks of light in the gloom.

Gartner says worldwide PC shipments were down 8.6 percent in the third quarter when compared with a year earlier. It is the sixth quarter in a row that shipments have fallen and 2013 saw the lowest third quarter since 2008. Gartner says 80.3 million PCs shipped during the quarter

IDC Research puts the number of shipments at 81.6 million, down 7.6 percent on the same quarter a year ago. That’s better than the forecast 9.5 percent decline. The company says business computer sales saw a small rise in preparation for Windows 8.1, but says consumer computer sales are still “lukewarm at best”.

Developments like touch screens and new hybrid computer-tablet formats seem to be doing little to halt declining sales. IDC’s outlook for 2014 forecasts a further decline in PC sales.

Both IDC and Gartner agree Lenovo is the top PC maker for the second quarter running. The Chinese company is fractionally ahead of HP with Dell in clear third place. Between them these top three companies account for around 45 percent of PCs sold during the quarter.

Lenovo and HP appear to be gaining a few points of market share while Dell is holding steady. The fourth and fifth placed companies; Acer and Asus, are both seeing their market share decline. In part this is due to their reliance on consumer sales.