The demand for tablets is causing interest in PCs to dwindle significantly, while Windows 8 has failed to drum up much interest, dragging down industry giants such as HP and Acer, as sales slump, although Apple and Lenovo are managing to buck the trend.
Figures from Gartner showed in the first quarter of 2013 worldwide PC shipments fell by 11 percent when compared to Q1 2012, falling from 89.1 million to 79.2 million. In Europe shipments plummeted to 23.2 million, down from 27.7 million in 2012.
Worldwide, HP suffered the most, seeing its market share fall from 17.2 percent to 14.8, as shipments dropped from 15 million to 11.6 million. In Europe this led to a fall from 5.7 million shipments to 3.9 million.
Acer also saw a slump, with sales dropping from 9.5 million in 2012 to 6.8 million in 2013, a decline of 29 percent. In Europe this meant sales were down to two million, from 2.4 million in the year-ago quarter.
Dell managed to maintain its share of the market, at 11 percent worldwide and nine percent in Europe, although shipments did fall from 9.8 million to 8.7 million across the globe.
Only Lenovo saw growth, albeit marginally, rising 0.1 percent to 11.6 million sales. European sales accounted for 2.5 million shipments, up from 2.3 million in 2012.
In the US, meanwhile, Apple maintained a position in the top five, ahead of Toshiba and Lenovo, with 1.7 million devices shipped, up from 1.5 million in 2012. This gave it a market share of 11.6 percent. These figures do not include iPads, showing the firm's Mac range is performing strongly.
HP again fared poorly, with sales down from 4.5 million to 3.4 million, while Dell also saw a drop from 3.5 million to three million.
Despite the poor sales HP was upbeat it could turn things around with its new suite of products, that is set to expand in the coming months.
"We have embraced a multiOS approach and intend to deliver a portfolio of tablets in varying form factors. We will build upon the bookends in our portfolio, the HP Slate7 for consumers and ElitePad for SMBs, governments and enterprise - and fill in the portfolio in the coming year," it said.
"With our rich portfolio of personal systems products on the roadmap, ranging from mobile devices to workstations, we will continue to deliver the best products and experiences to our customers."
Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa told V3 that each vendor was suffering different problems, aside from Lenovo and Apple who are performing well for entirely different reasons.
“Dell and HP are facing the problems of US shareholders not accepting very low margins on PC sales so they are not able to be so aggressive with pricing. Lenovo is able to be competitive where as the others are not,” she said.
“Apple is different as it doesn’t depend on its PC business for growth. Acer is struggling because although it too is operating on lower margins, it doesn’t have a strong brand like Lenovo"
The figures underline the lack of impact that Windows 8 has had on the market, as PCs fail to appeal to buyers, who instead seem more taken with tablets and mobile devices for their spending.
Kitagawa added, though, that while Windows 8 had not proved a huge boon, the figures pointed more at the changing nature of the PC market, where tablets are replacing PCs for most buyers.
"We're seeing people buy tablets for consumption of content over PCs. People will still buy PCs but not to the same level they did before. The market isn't dying, but it is changing," she said.
In the corporate world, too, many firms appears happy to let users bring their own devices, or stick with old devices and systems, as witnessed by those who intend to cling to Windows XP, despite support for the aging platform coming to an end in one year's time.
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