PC manufacturers experienced the first decline in overall PC shipments in the first quarter since the most recent recession.
This time, however, the reason may not be another looming recession, but the simple fact that the netbook is on its way out and PC manufacturers did not respond quickly enough to a changing market environment.
According to Gartner, the overall market lost 1.1% and dropped to 84.3 million shipped PCs in the first quarter of this year. HP and Dell lost slightly, but Acer dropped by 12.2% from 12.4 million PCs to 10.9 million. Lenovo and Toshiba were able to increase their sales by 16.6 and 5.3%, respectively. Gartner indicated that Acer is especially vulnerable as the company is especially dependent on netbook and mini-notebook shipments. It is quite apparent that the iPad has impacted the netbook market, but Gartner said that it is unclear whether this is a short-term or a long-term trend.
In the U.S., Apple gained 18.9% and sold 1.5 million PCs as compared to less than 1.3 million in the quarter one year ago. The only other manufacturer that was able to increase its shipments in the U.S. was Toshiba (+10.9%). The overall PC market contracted by 6.1% to 16.1 million units, according to Gartner. It is quite apparent that Apple has found a way to extend its product line with the iPad, which does not affect its own product sales, but apparently hurts traditional PC vendors.