Today, Gartner, Inc. released the preliminary results of their Q4 2012 PC Shipments Report. Overall, PC shipments totaled 90.3 million units, which is a 4.9% decline from Q4 2011.
Gartner Principal Analyst, Ms. Mikako Kitagawa, looked beyond economic factors to explain why PCs are on the decline:
“Tablets have dramatically changed the device landscape for PCs, not so much by ‘cannibalizing’ PC sales, but by causing PC users to shift consumption to tablets rather than replacing older PCs. Whereas as once we imagined a world in which individual users would have both a PC and a tablet as personal devices, we increasingly suspect that most individuals will shift consumption activity to a personal tablet, and perform creative and administrative tasks on a shared PC. There will be some individuals who retain both, but we believe they will be exception and not the norm. Therefore, we hypothesize that buyers will not replace secondary PCs in the household, instead allowing them to age out and shifting consumption to a tablet.”
She went on to explain that the phenomenon of fairly affordable tablets in 2012 further drove consumers away from the PC. She predicts that PC selling prices will increase, as people turn to these devices for richer applications, instead of general consumption.
Gartner pulled data for all PCs, including mini-notebooks for shipments selling into channels for this report. According to the firm’s preliminary numbers, the top three Global PC distributors are as follows:
- HP, with 16.2% of the market share, a 0.5% decrease from 2011
- Lenovo, with a 15.5% market share, an 8.2% increase from 2011
- Dell had a 10.2% market share with a 20.9% decrease from 2011
The EMEA sector saw the biggest decline of 9.6% with 28 million PC units sold. Gartner analysts believe that a market restructuring is more likely the cause of this decline. The top three distributors for this sector were HP (19.1% share, 8.3% decrease), Lenovo (11.0% share, 29.4% increase) and the Acer Group (10.7% share, 14.6% decrease).
In the US, there were 17.5 million PC units sold in Q4 2012, which was a 2.1% decline. The top three distributors were HP (26.6% share, 12.6% increase), Dell (19.2% share, 16.5% decrease) and Apple (12.3% share, 5.4% increase).
Finally, the Asia/Pacific sector saw the smallest decrease of 1.8% from Q4 2011. There were 29.9 million units sold in Q4 2012.
As part of today’s preliminary report release, Gartner touched on the matter of Windows 8. According to the firm’s analysts, Windows 8 did not have a measurable impact on PC sales in 2012, which may be due more to PC vendors missing the touch technology factor. Gartner expects that to change in 2013, particularly with the release of new touch-enabled PCs.
Please note again that these numbers are only preliminary. Gartner plans to release their final report soon to their Quarterly Statistics Program.
For more information about Gartner, please visit the site here.