Worldwide shipments of PCs continue to drop. But the decline in the first quarter of the year wasn’t as dramatic as in recent periods, and Lenovo – the No. 1 global sales leader – broadened its market share by 2 full points to 17 percent.
Market research firm Gartner Inc. says shipments fell 2 percent to 76.6 million units in the first three months of 2014. In comparison shipments fell 7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Lenovo, which operates its global executive headquarters in Morrisville, shipped the most PCs. Its market share increased 2 percentage points to 17 percent.
Research firm IDC reported similar findings and noted Lenovo’s continued growth.
Its snapshots of how the leaders performed:
- Lenovo preserved its lead in total worldwide PC shipments despite a seasonal drop due to the Chinese New Year. Growth in other regions continued at a solid pace although Latin America slowed after a dramatic expansion over the past year.
- HP remained in the number 2 position, with growth rising nicely to nearly 5% year on year, the company’s highest growth in more than two years. Strong results in EMEA had the largest impact on HP’s results, although growth in the U.S. and Canada also improved notably.
- Dell grew over 9% in the first quarter, its highest rate since 4Q11 and the third consecutive quarter of positive year-on-year growth. The vendor’s revamped channel strategy – with greater focus on partners and solutions as well as use of PC sales as part of broader solutions – Is paying dividends as the company benefits from the relative strength of commercial replacements as well as operational freedom and reduced uncertainty after completing the privatization.
- Acer continues to work on stabilizing PC shipments. Fourth quarter growth turned up nicely, but first quarter results slipped again. Slow consumer demand, competition from other players, and a shift in product portfolio towards 2-in-1 and tablets all contributed to the slower PC results.
- ASUS growth slipped notably in the U.S., but follows a relatively strong fourth quarter. The company is in a challenging spot – working to expand regional coverage with a consumer focus when emerging regions and consumers are slow parts of the market. Even so, the company grew faster than the market in EMEA and APeJ (its two largest markets) and saw strong gains in Latin America.
A Slowing Slide
Worldwide shipments of PCs fell during the first three months of the year, but the latest numbers show that the global slump in PC demand may be easing.
Although the numbers released Wednesday by market research firms Gartner and IDC mark the industry’s eighth straight quarter of declines, they also show a considerable slowdown from the drops in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Analysts for both firms pointed to a bump in demand, especially in Japan, stemming from Microsoft’s retirement of its Windows XP operating system this week. Although users can still run the 12-year-old operating system, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates and has urged existing users to upgrade to newer systems, such as Windows 8.
Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, said the PC professional market also improved in regions such as Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
According to Gartner, global PC shipments fell 2 percent to 76.6 million units in the first three months of 2014. By comparison, shipments fell 7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.
By IDC’s calculations, shipments fell 4 percent in the first quarter, slightly less than the 5 percent drop the firm had projected.
PC sales have taken a hit in recent years amid the shift in consumer spending toward tablets and other mobile devices. They’ve also been hurt by tough economic conditions around the world.
Loren Loverde, IDC’s vice president for worldwide PC trackers, said that although the global economy seems to be stabilizing, the move to mobile will likely continue.
“The net result remains consistent with our past forecasts — in particular, that there is potential for PC shipments to stabilize, but not much opportunity for growth,” Loverde said in a statement.
The U.S. continued to be a bright spot for the industry.
Gartner said U.S. shipments rose 2 percent during the first quarter to 14.1 million, while IDC said U.S. shipments were unchanged at 14.3 million.