PCs Rate Of Decline Moderating But Still Losing Share To Tablets

Posted: Jan 10 2014, 8:01am CST | by , in News

PCs Rate Of Decline Moderating But Still Losing Share To Tablets
Photo Credit: Forbes

Gartner estimates that PC shipments declined 6.9% year over year to 82.6 million units while IDC estimated they dropped 5.6% to 82.2 million. PC unit declines have ranged from mid-single to low-double-digits over the past six quarters which isn’t too surprising given tablets are lengthening replacement cycles or taking their place. (Note that my family and I own Apple shares).

One bit of good news for the PC industry is the rate of decline has been lower for the past three consecutive quarters. However when viewed over a two year timeframe Gartner has unit shipments down 13.0% and IDC has them declining 14.3%. Overall this continues to be poor news for companies such as Dell, HP, Intel and Microsoft.

Gartner’s principal analyst, Mikako Kitagawa, said “Although PC shipments continued to decline in the worldwide market in the fourth quarter, we increasingly believe markets, such as the U.S., have bottomed out as the adjustment to the installed base slows. Strong growth in tablets continued to negatively impact PC growth in emerging markets. In emerging markets, the first connected device for consumers is most likely a smartphone, and their first computing device is a tablet. As a result, the adoption of PCs in emerging markets will be slower as consumers skip PCs for tablets.”

Lenovo is the market leader for the third quarter in a row

Lenovo increased its lead over HP in the December quarter and besides Dell was the only PC OEM to increase unit sales year over year.  Lenovo’s market share is 18.1% according to Gartner, with a 1.7% lead over HP, while IDC has the company’s share at 18.6% and a 1.8% lead over HP. Note that Acer has lost between 33% (Gartner) to 43% (IDC) over a two year timeframe. All these data can be found in a Google Doc that I have created.

Source: Gartner (January 2014)

IDC’s Loren Loverde, Vice President, Worldwide PC Tracers said “The PC market again came in very close to expectations, but unfortunately failed to significantly change the trajectory of growth. Total shipments have now declined for seven consecutive quarters, and even the holiday shopping season was unable to inspire a turn in consumer spending. 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.”

Note that both Gartner and IDC have Dell increasing units year over year for the past two quarters but they are coming off of easy comparisons.

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, January 9, 2014

I am estimating Apple sold 4.85 million Macs in the December quarter

NPD estimates that U.S. Mac sales increased 29% year over year for the months of October and November. This December quarter is coming off a September quarter where Mac sales increased 22% quarter over quarter (in-line with historical results) and should have a more normal supply of Mac systems compared to a year ago. After seeing the NPD data about three weeks ago and reviewing prior quarter results I increased my Mac unit estimate from 4.6 to 4.85 million which would be a 6% increase quarter over quarter and 19% year over year, more in-line with previous years results.

Note that if Apple can grow its Mac unit sales and Acer and ASUS continue to decline it could break into the top 5 worldwide PC vendors in a few years.

Follow me on Twitter @sandhillinsight. You can find my other Forbes posts here.

Source: Forbes

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