As the PC market flattened out globally in the second quarter of this year, declining 0.1 percent compared to the same period in 2011, HP remained at the top of the market with 14.9 percent marketshare, but with worldwide shipments of its PCs declining 12.1 percent.
Along with tough economic conditions in several regions, analysts’ Gartner in its latest report on the global PC market, attributes HP’s decline in PC shipments to several factors including internal issues from the company’s organisational changes, aggressive pricing from Lenovo in the professional market, and threats from companies such as ASUS and Samsung in the already crowded consumer markets.
In contrast, Lenovo’s shipment growth continued to exceed the worldwide average, Gartner reports, with the Chinese company significantly narrowing the market share gap with HP.
Gartner reports that Acer managed to increase shipments compared to a year ago, and the company was able to clear its inventory issues and prepare for the growth, with Kitagawa pointing out that the company has been one of the first vendors to release Ultrabooks, and will “most likely lower the Ultrabook price faster than other vendors.”
Dell, reports Gartner, has been in a process of transforming itself from a PC supplier to solution provider for professional markets and, according to Kitagawa, although Dell’s focus was not to pursue the market share gain, the company needs to maintain certain level of market share. Meanwhile, Dell showed year on year shipment decline across all regions, but EMEA and Asia/Pacific were particularly challenging markets, Gartner reports.
ASUS showed the strongest growth among the top five vendors worldwide, with Gartner reporting its shipments increased 38.6 percent in the second quarter of 2012, with strong growth coming from EMEA and US markets.
Overall the global PC market has been flat in the face of tight economic conditions and Gartner also says that consumers are now less interested in spending on PCs, preferring to spend their hard earned cash on other devices like smartphones and media tablets.
Worldwide PC shipments totalled 87.5 million units – a decline of 0.1 percent - in the second quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, according to Gartner.
“In the second quarter of 2012, the global PC market suffered through its seventh consecutive quarter of flat to single-digit growth,” Kitagawa said. “Uncertainties in the economy in various regions, as well as consumer’s low interest in PC purchases, were some of the key influencers of slow PC shipment growth. Despite the high expectations for the thin and light notebook segment, Ultrabooks, shipment volume was small and little impact on overall shipment growth.”
In contrast to the performance of the global PC market, the Asia Pacific PC market grew two percent, as shipments reached 31.8 million units. Gartner says that the weak US and European economic situation, coupled with the slowing economy in China, affected the region’s market sentiments where people reacted by scaling back on spending due to the uncertainties. “There was a tightening of budgets in the professional segment, as well as a lack of new government initiatives to stimulate IT purchasing activities. Consumers either spent on alternative devices or remained cautious on discretionary spending,” Kitagawa says.
From a regional perspective, EMEA, Asia/Pacific and Japan registered low single digit-growth while all Americas markets posted year-over-year shipment declines, Gartner reports.
On the lessening consumer spending on PCs in favour of other technology product and services, Kitagawa observes that this is more of a trend in the mature markets where PCs are highly saturated. “A big portion of R&D spending has been allocated to Ultrabook development, together with Intel’s massive investments to establish the market segment. Though Ultrabook was at first introduced in the market in 2011, the major promotion kicked off toward the end of 2Q12 with the IvyBridge, based Ultrabook release. This segment is still in an early adopters' stage.”
In the US market, Gartner reports that PC shipments totaled 15.9 million units in the second quarter of 2012, a 5.7 percent decline from the same period last year, with the analyst firm largely attributing the slowdown to weak consumer spending on PCs.
Comments Kitagawa: This reflects a combination of consumers’ reduced interest in PCs, and vendors reduced willingness to sell PCs due to other products and services that consumers are interested. The major promotion of Ultra books could potentially change the market dynamics.”
In the US market, however, HP continued to lead the PC market league table, accounting for 25 percent of PC shipments in the second quarter of 2012. Among the top five vendors in the US PC market, all but Apple experienced a decline in shipments.