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Christmas PC sales slump as Windows 8 fails to deliver expected boost

11 Jan 2013
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch ultrabook

Sales in the PC market once again fell as manufacturers wrapped up a disappointing 2012.

Research firm IDC said that over the final quarter of the year, revenues were down some 6.4 percent compared to the same period in 2011. Overall, researchers found that three of the top five PC vendors saw a drop in shipments on the quarter.

Analysts blamed the drop on the vendors, which it said had mismanaged the rollout of Windows 8 systems.

"Lost in the shuffle to promote a touch-centric PC, vendors have not forcefully stressed other features that promote a more secure, reliable and efficient user experience," said IDC senior research analyst Jay Chou.

"As Windows 8 matures, and other corresponding variables such as ultrabook pricing continue to drop, hopefully the PC market can see a reset in both messaging and demand in 2013."

HP clung on to its top spot in the PC market with a 16.7 percent share. The company saw its market share increase on the quarter despite seeing shipments fall by 0.6 percent.

Lenovo, meanwhile, defied the market by increasing its own shipments 8.2 percent on the year-ago quarter. The company pulled in a 15.7 percent share. Dell, meanwhile saw its shipments drop by 20.8 per cent on the quarter.

Dell's fall was topped only by Acer, which saw its shipments dip a staggering 28.2 percent over the same period in 2011. The company saw its share of the market fall from 10.1 to 7.8 percent of total shipments.

Overall, the top five vendors accounted for 58 percent of all PCs shipped in the quarter.

The report rounds out what has been a disappointing 2012 overall for the PC market. Throughout the year analysts logged slower than expected numbers for the market, capped off by a lukewarm reception for Windows 8.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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