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PC sales lag behind expectations

Oct 14, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Worldwide PC shipments fell below expectations during the third quarter, according to market research firms Gartner and IDC. Each found commercial refresh projects to be on target, but consumer spending sluggish — a trend each partly attributed to the hype surrounding tablet PCs such as the Apple iPad.

While iPad sales weren't figured into PC shipment estimates, anticipation of new tablets, scheduled to arrive in time for the holidays, likely led some consumers to hold off on purchases, Gartner and IDC said in separate Oct. 13 reports.

"Media tablets don't replace primary PCs, but they affect PC purchases in many ways," Mikako Kitagawa, a principal analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. "At this stage, hype around media tablets has led consumers and the channels to take a 'wait and see' approach to buying a new device."

Gartner estimated that worldwide PC shipments grew 7.6 percent during the quarter — a figure well below its anticipated projection of 12.7 percent — on worldwide shipments of 88.3 million units. IDC, on estimated shipments of 89.6 million units, reported quarterly growth of 11 percent.

Worldwide, Hewlett-Packard led the market, despite a generally flat year, followed by Acer and then Dell — which grew nearly 10 percent year-on-year. In the United States, the firms agreed that HP again led, followed by Dell.

Rank

Vendor

3Q10

Shipments

Market

Share

3Q09

Shipments

Market

Share

3Q10/3Q09

Growth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

HP

15,766

17.6%

15,799

19.6%

-0.1%

2

Acer Group

11,648

13.0%

10,885

13.5%

7.0%

3

Dell

11,136

12.4%

10,154

12.6%

9.7%

4

Lenovo

9,213

10.3%

6,931

8.6%

32.9%

5

ASUS

4,793

5.3%

3,674

4.5%

30.5%

6

Toshiba

4,659

5.2%

4,066

5.0%

14.6%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Others

32,456

36.2%

29,284

36.2%

10.8%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

89,683

100.0%

80,793

100.0%

11.0%

Worldwide PC Shipments, Third Quarter 2010
(Preliminary — units for shipments are in thousands)

Source: IDC

But Gartner found Acer, which generally competes neck-and-neck with Dell, to occupy the third position, followed by Apple in fourth, while IDC reported that the number-three spot went to Apple.

"Apple's influence on the PC market continues to grow, particularly in the U.S., as the company's iPad has had some negative impact on the mini-notebook market," IDC's Bob O'Donnell said in a statement. "But the halo effect of the device also helped propel Mac sales and moved the company into the number three position in the U.S. market."

According to IDC, HP claimed 24.3 percent of U.S. market share on shipments of 4.6 million units (a year-on-year growth of just 2.7 percent), and Dell shipped 4.4 million units for 23.1 percent market share, despite a year-on-year shift of negative 4.9 percent. Apple reportedly shipped 1.999 million units for 10.6 percent market share — a growth of 24.1 percent year-on-year growth — while fourth-place Acer shipped 1.949 million units for 10.3 percent market share and a growth of just 0.1 percent.

Gartner estimated that 25.3 percent of the U.S. market went to HP, on shipments of 4.5 million units; 23.8 percent went to Dell, on 4.2 million units and Acer claimed 10.5 percent market share on shipments of 1.85 million units. Just behind Acer, it found Apple to be fourth place, shipping 1.83 million units for 10.4 percent of the market.

By both accounts, Lenovo, gaining more than 30 percent during the quarter, was the number-four player worldwide, Asus, also on strong sales, thanks to the Asia/Pacific region, finished in fifth place worldwide, and Toshiba, also growing above the market average, finished in sixth place. In the United States, again putting in a strong performance, Toshiba finished in fifth, with approximately 9 percent market share.

Gartner's Kitagawa said back-to-school sales in the United States were weak not because students weren't buying PCs, but because the nonstudents usually attracted to back-to-school promotions held off, again because of tablet PCs.

"These buyers were influenced by media tablet introductions, as well as the still-gloomy economy," said Kitagawa, "since these buyers do not have an immediate need to purchase a PC."

Chip makers Intel and Advanced Micro Devices both lowered their third-quarter expectations due to weakening consumer PC demand. During their earnings call Oct. 12, Intel officials said consumer demand in both the United States and Western Europe were down, but that corporate purchase and sales in emerging markets helped Intel hit record financial numbers for the quarter.

As we reported yesterday, Intel CEO Paul Otellini (right) added that Intel expects it will come to dominate the tablet space, particular after next year's release of its power-sipping "Oak Trail" Atom. He also appeared to discount analyst concerns that tablets will cut into PC sales, noting that netbooks had raised similar fears.

"Three years later, both the PC and netbook market segments have grown substantially," Otellini said. "And we believe that will happen again with tablets."

In any case, the quarter ended strong, according to IDC analyst Jay Chou. "Lower PC component costs, budding excitement around new media-centric form factors and continued business buying should still make for a competitive holiday season," he said.

Further information

IDC's research is part of its Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker service, about which more information can be found here. Gartner's research is part of the report "Market Share Alert: Preliminary PC Market Results, Worldwide, 3Q10," which may be purchased for $195, here.

Michelle Maisto is a writer for our sister site eWEEK.com.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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