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January 10, 2014

Global PC shipments dropped 6.9% in fourth quarter

Registered a consecutive quarter shipment drop for the seventh time.

By CBR Staff Writer

Global PC shipments reported 6.9% drop during the fourth quarter of 2013 (4Q13) to 82.6 million units, representing a consecutive shipment drop quarter for the seventh time, a new Gartner report revealed.

Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa said that although PC shipments continued to decline in the worldwide market in the fourth quarter, we increasingly believe markets, such as the US, have bottomed out as the adjustment to the installed base slows.

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

During the quarter, Lenovo topped the list of PC makers by accounting for 18.1% of global PC shipments, while HP reported 7.2% drop in shipments, followed by other PC makers including Dell, Acer and Asus capturing remaining position.

"Holiday sales of technology products were strong in the U.S. market, but consumer spending during the holidays did not come back to PCs as tablets were one of the hottest holiday items," Kitagawa said.

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"We think that the U.S. PC market has bottomed out.

"A variety of new form factors, such as hybrid notebooks, drew holiday shoppers’ attention, but the market size was very small at the time.

"Lowering the price point of thin and light products started encouraging the PC replacement and potentially some PC growth in 2014."

Asia-Pacific topped the list of nations with highest PC shipments as 26.5 million units were shipped during the quarter, followed by 25.8 million units in the EMEA and 15.8 million in the US.

In addition, global PC shipments for 2013 totalled 315.9 million units, reporting a 10% drop from 2012, representing the worst decline in PC market history.

Another report from IDC revealed that global PC shipments declined by 5.6% to 82.2 million units during Q4, while global PC shipments dropped by 10% for the complete 2013.

IDC Worldwide PC Trackers vice president Loren Loverde said the PC market again came in very close to expectations, but unfortunately failed to significantly change the trajectory of growth.

"Total shipments have now declined for seven consecutive quarters, and even the holiday shopping season was unable to inspire a turn in consumer spending," Loverde said.

"Although U.S. growth slipped a little in the fourth quarter, other regions all improved, reinforcing our view that growth rates will continue to improve gradually during 2014 despite remaining in negative territory."

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