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IDC: PC Shipments Dropped 13.9% in 1Q13

By - Source: International Data Corporation | B 12 comments

PC sales continue to drop.

The International Data Corporation (IDC) has released its Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker results for 1Q13, reporting that worldwide PC shipments during that quarter totaled a mere 76.3 million units. While that sounds like a lot to sell within a three-month span, the number actually dropped 13.9 percent compared to the same quarter in 2012. IDC said that was the worst quarter it has ever seen since it began tracking the PC market quarterly in 1994.

The slump in sales is a multi-pronged problem. Fading netbook shipments are hurting the low-end market while tablets and smartphones continue to divert consumer spending. Meanwhile, attempts to sell ultra-slim notebooks and touch-based solutions have been hampered by their end-price and component supply. A weak reception to Windows 8 is also to blame, and may have even slowed the market altogether.

"The PC industry is struggling to identify innovations that differentiate PCs from other products and inspire consumers to buy, and instead is meeting significant resistance to changes perceived as cumbersome or costly," the company said.

Bob O'Donnell, IDC Program Vice President, Clients and Displays, said that the radical changes to the UI in Windows 8, the platform's removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices. In order to reinvigorate the PC market, Microsoft will need to make some "very tough decisions moving forward."

The IDC also points to the restructuring and reorganizing efforts impacting HP and Dell, two of the nation's largest PC makers, as additional reasons behind the slump. Lenovo remains a notable exception, but mid- and bottom-tier vendors are struggling to identify growth markets within the U.S.

According to a chart provided by the IDC, HP commanded 15.7 percent of the worldwide PC market in 1Q13, followed by Lenovo with a close 15.3 percent. Dell fell into third place with an 11.8 percent share followed by Acer (8.1 percent) and Asus (5.7 percent). When compared to the same quarter in 2012, HP dropped 23.7 percent while Lenovo stayed level. Dell dropped 10.9 percent, Acer dropped 31.3 percent, and Asus dropped 19.2 percent.

"The U.S. market had another dismal quarter in 1Q13, contracting -12.7 percent year on year, with a drop of -18.3 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2012," the company said. "With total volume falling to 14.2 million, quarterly shipments reached their lowest level since the first quarter of 2006. With this latest figure, the U.S. is now in its tenth consecutive quarter of year-on-year contraction (excluding a brief moment of growth – less than 2 percent year on year – in 3Q11)."

To read the full depressing report, head here.

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  • 8 Hide
    irish_adam , April 22, 2013 7:12 AM
    i know everyone seems to be blaming windows 8 but tbh i think its the low price of ram thats brought this about. I fix PC's for a living and tbh the biggest reason people upgraded there computers was a lack of ram, people would have like 20 stupid little programs that would load when booted (skype, monitoring software etc.) that would eat up all their ram and bring the computer to its knees and instead of just cleaning out the computer they would buy a new one. Now that computers come with like 4gb of ram standard i've noticed that people just dont see the point in upgrading and i dont blame them, the average person that surfs the internet and does a bit of word processing doesnt need a new computer every year of 2 anymore.
  • 1 Hide
    de5_Roy , April 22, 2013 7:33 AM
    *windows 8 goes up on the stage to receive a trophy for this contribution to pc industry* "thank you, i know i am one of the main reason pc sales tanked. thank you microsoft and steve ballmer for inflating all my sales numbers. my rt version thanks microsoft surface and nvidia. thanks also go to all the bulldozer fanboys who prayed for my arrival and i helped bd cpus finally beat all those pesky pentium and core i3 cpus... or not."
    /acceptance speech.
  • 2 Hide
    jhansonxi , April 22, 2013 8:32 AM
    Quote:
    Now that computers come with like 4gb of ram standard i've noticed that people just dont see the point in upgrading and i dont blame them, the average person that surfs the internet and does a bit of word processing doesnt need a new computer every year of 2 anymore.
    Not just RAM but the older hardware in general is adequate for most people. The primary drivers of upgrades were games and smaller form-factors. Consoles reduced the gamer demand. Many desktop users switched to laptops and are now moving to phones and tablets.

  • 7 Hide
    abzillah , April 22, 2013 8:35 AM
    I agree with irish_adams and jhansonxi. The one other thing that is slowing down sales is that new products are not coming out for enthusiast. No new CPU or GPU on the market to get us upgrade. Also, games are not pushing the CPU and GPU to the limit, monitors aren't coming at higher resolutions like 4K, or 8K.
  • 0 Hide
    spartanmk2 , April 22, 2013 11:46 AM
    Only upgrade my PC every 3-5 years... and parts that fail in between.
  • 0 Hide
    abzillah , April 22, 2013 12:43 PM
    I agree with irish_adams and jhansonxi. The one other thing that is slowing down sales is that new products are not coming out for enthusiast. No new CPU or GPU on the market to get us upgrade. Also, games are not pushing the CPU and GPU to the limit, monitors aren't coming at higher resolutions like 4K, or 8K.
  • 1 Hide
    pacomac , April 22, 2013 1:13 PM
    I can't believe everyone is so naive. The main reason PC sales have dropped is tablets, which do 75% of what te average user needs to do. Sure we all need a fully fledged desktop workhorse, but one is enough. Windows 8 might be bad, but I don't think it's so bad that it would stop people from replacing ageing hardware.
  • 0 Hide
    bak0n , April 22, 2013 7:55 PM
    I'm looking for a price/performance level before I buy my next laptop. It hasn't reached that point where I feel its worth while. Might be Christmas time before I do at this rate.. I'm also sitting on 7 desktops and a Asus 1201n along with an orginal Asus netbook. All for 4 people... Ya.... I don't need another desktop.
  • 2 Hide
    w8gaming , April 22, 2013 9:12 PM
    Consumers are not buying PC much because they already have them and the old PCs are still working fine. Consumers are buying tablets because they do not have one yet and like the mobility they offer. Soon, in fact, much sooner than most people think, tablets will suffer the same fate of PCs, and the market will implode when the market switch into replacement only cycle.
  • -1 Hide
    pacomac , April 23, 2013 4:22 AM
    Quote:
    Consumers are not buying PC much because they already have them and the old PCs are still working fine. Consumers are buying tablets because they do not have one yet and like the mobility they offer. Soon, in fact, much sooner than most people think, tablets will suffer the same fate of PCs, and the market will implode when the market switch into replacement only cycle.

    Well I'm on my 6th tablet now, and I don't see any signs of me slowing down. All these tablets have been purchased since my desktop upgrade to core i7. Tablets are just more exciting than PC's at this moment in time. I'm looking for the killer tablet, and not so interested in killer desktops.
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , April 23, 2013 6:49 AM
    Quote:
    Well I'm on my 6th tablet now, and I don't see any signs of me slowing down.

    Just about every spec on phones and tablets currently doubles every two years and at this rate, mobile devices will catch up with PCs within the next five years. Beyond that point, there won't be much left to make people want newer tablets.

    I expect tablet sales to start leveling off in about three years: new tablets around that time will likely enter the same "good enough for a long time" zone PCs are stuck in today and it will become an uphill battle from there to convince people to upgrade anywhere near as often as people do today with little to no convincing required... last year's tablets had 1GB single-channel RAM and ~1.2GHz CPUs while this year's model may have 2GB dual-channel RAM and ~1.8GHz CPUs; already enough to tempt many people even if everything else stays the same.
  • 0 Hide
    boytitan2 , April 23, 2013 10:21 PM
    Quote:
    i know everyone seems to be blaming windows 8 but tbh i think its the low price of ram thats brought this about. I fix PC's for a living and tbh the biggest reason people upgraded there computers was a lack of ram, people would have like 20 stupid little programs that would load when booted (skype, monitoring software etc.) that would eat up all their ram and bring the computer to its knees and instead of just cleaning out the computer they would buy a new one. Now that computers come with like 4gb of ram standard i've noticed that people just dont see the point in upgrading and i dont blame them, the average person that surfs the internet and does a bit of word processing doesnt need a new computer every year of 2 anymore.


    This the average pc user has zero reason to upgrade right now.