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Analysts: 2013 Marked 'Record Drop' in Global PC Shipments

Worldwide PC shipments in 2013 were down by 10 percent from 2012 -- a "record drop" for the market, according to preliminary data released on Thursday by IDC.

The 10 percent drop was affirmed by Gartner Inc., which also released preliminary PC market figures. The 2013 result was described as "the worst decline in PC market history" per Gartner's announcement.

Consumer buying represented the weaker side of the PC market, especially with tablets drawing the attention of potential PC buyers. However, businesses were spurred on to make some PC purchases due to Windows XP's expiring product lifecycle, according to IDC.

IDC also reported preliminary global PC market results for the fourth quarter of 2013, which reflected holiday season purchasing. In Q4 2013, the PC market contracted by 5.6 percent compared with the same quarter in 2012. IDC reported that 82.2 million PC units were sold worldwide during the fourth quarter. Gartner's Q4 estimates were similar to IDC's, with the Stamford, Conn.-based analyst and consulting firm estimating a PC market contraction of 6.9 percent on a volume of 82.6 million units shipped during the quarter. That quarterly result reflected the seventh consecutive decline for the PC market, according to both IDC and Gartner.

"Total shipments have now declined for seven consecutive quarters, and even the holiday shopping season was unable to inspire a turn in consumer spending," explained Loren Loverde, vice president for IDC's "Worldwide PC Trackers" publications. "Although U.S. growth slipped a little in the fourth quarter, other regions all improved, reinforcing our view that growth rates will continue to improve gradually during 2014 despite remaining in negative territory."

IDC indicated in its announcement that U.S. PC shipments in Q4 2013 decreased 1.6 percent, year over year, on a volume of 17.1 million units shipped. Gartner reported a steeper decline of 7.5 percent for the Q4 U.S. PC market, but it indicated that just 15.8 million units had been shipped.

The top five PC vendors worldwide in terms of market share were Lenovo, HP, Dell, Acer and Asus, according to IDC's (see chart) and Gartner's preliminary results. Lenovo and HP held similar market shares of around16 percent each.

The leading PC vendors in the U.S. market differed from the global market estimates. The U.S. market leaders were HP, Dell, Apple, Lenovo and Toshiba, according to both IDC and Gartner.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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