IDC and Gartner reports show weakened demand for PCs

By on April 14, 2011, 10:00 AM
The global PC market is showing signs of slowing down as businesses and consumers hold off on purchasing new machines and shift focus to tablet computers, according to two market research groups.

IDC said that global shipments were 80.56 million, a year-on-year fall of 3.2% from 83.2 million in the first quarter of 2010, and down more than 10% in the U.S. Meanwhile, Gartner estimated shipments of 84.3 million for the same period, which would amount to a 1.1% year-on-year decline from 85.1 million units worldwide and a 6.1% drop in the U.S.

The decline follows a record 26% growth during last year's first quarter, which was driven by people upgrading PCs and buying new computers with Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system. But a lot has happened since then with the emergence of so-called post-PC devices, which according to IDC offer a "good enough" computing experience to attract massive users. Higher fuel and commodity prices, along Japan’s natural disasters, the uprisings in the Middle East, and of course the Intel Sandy Bridge delay are also believed to have played role in this quarter's decline.

Top 5 Vendors, United States PC Shipments, First Quarter 2011
(Preliminary) (Units Shipments are in thousands)

Rank

Vendor

1Q11
Shipments

Market
Share

1Q10
Shipments

Market
Share

1Q11/1Q10
Growth

1 HP 4,345 27.0% 4,453 24.7% -2.4%
2 Dell 3,724 23.1% 4,220 23.4% -11.8%
3 Toshiba 1,663 10.3% 1,506 8.3% 10.4%
4 Apple 1,375 8.5% 1,254 7.0% 9.6%
5 Acer Group 1,331 8.3% 2,298 12.7% -42.1%
 

Others 3,681 22.8% 4,309 23.9% -14.6%
  All Vendors 16,118 100.0%

18,040

100.0% -10.7%

HP retained its position as the world’s largest computer maker with 15.2 million units shipped, down 2.8%according to IDC estimates, while Dell came in second with a 1.8% drop to 10.3 million shipped computers. In third place Acer saw shipments fall 15.8% globally and a massive 42.1% in the U.S., showing the company's exposure to the shrinking interest in netbooks, which is also one of the reasons behind former CEO Gianfranco Lanci's recent departure.

Meanwhile, fourth-placed Lenovo showed considerable strength with a 16.3% increase in shipments to 8.2 million due to strong demand in China, while Toshiba's shipments increased 3.8% to 1.7 million.

Table data source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, April 13, 2011




User Comments: 8

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gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

OMG, you mean people don't buy a new desktop computer every year or two like they do with phones?

After everyone bought a new Windows 7 PC, probably spurred by really cheap prices on really good i-series machines, its only understandable that sales would drop.

Leeky Leeky said:

I agree, especially with the fantastic deals pretty much across the board helping matters.

It'll probably never be possible, but I would love to see those figures up against the enthusiasts that build there own, and how sales contrast in those scenarios.

yRaz yRaz said:

I would also atrribute this to computers getting good enough over the past 3-4 years that people just don't feel they need to upgrade. For everyday computing, a DC CPU and a 4gb of ram is all anyone really needs. IGP has gotten good enough that casual users don't need to buy Graphics card to watch movies. The "normal" user needs have already been met with current technology.

As far as the phone comment, I had my blackberry pearl for 5 years until I got the LG quantum. However, I do upgrade something in my computer every 3-4 months.

Lurker101 said:

Just to add to this argument, the vast majority of PC games these days, are just badly made ports. There's very little that is graphically challenging anymore. As a direct result, people simply don't need to upgrade.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

yRaz said:

As far as the phone comment, I had my blackberry pearl for 5 years until I got the LG quantum. However, I do upgrade something in my computer every 3-4 months.

This is about buying complete computers, not putting in a new hard drive. No offense, but people on this site should not use themselves as an "everyman" when it comes to hardware. What you or I do with our computers is at the far fringe of the spectrum. Most people update their phones much more often than they do computers.

yRaz yRaz said:

gwailo247 said:

This is about buying complete computers, not putting in a new hard drive. No offense, but people on this site should not use themselves as an "everyman" when it comes to hardware. What you or I do with our computers is at the far fringe of the spectrum. Most people update their phones much more often than they do computers.

I wasn't making a general sweeping statement, just saying what I do. I always find it interesting to see other people post about what they do, figured I'm not the only one since quite often people post their personal habits. Like you said, far fringe of the spectrum. That's part of the reason I joined this site, we aren't "normal" as apple would say it.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

yRaz said:

gwailo247 said:

This is about buying complete computers, not putting in a new hard drive. No offense, but people on this site should not use themselves as an "everyman" when it comes to hardware. What you or I do with our computers is at the far fringe of the spectrum. Most people update their phones much more often than they do computers.

I wasn't making a general sweeping statement, just saying what I do. I always find it interesting to see other people post about what they do, figured I'm not the only one since quite often people post their personal habits. Like you said, far fringe of the spectrum. That's part of the reason I joined this site, we aren't "normal" as apple would say it.

You're right, my apologies. =)

Guest said:

I have not purchased a ready built system in a good number of years. Most of my systems were put together with a CPU and Motherboard combo, but my local computer store stopped selling these combo's and I have not ungraded from a 4 core to a 6 core system...

I run a 64-bit Mepis Linux Operating System at Work and Home. I have all but win7 installed in VirtualBox, in case I get a phone call from a co-worker or friend that might be using a Microsoft system at home and needs support. Haven't needed win7 yet, not enough friend using the newer Microsoft operating system...

JR

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