IDC: PC industry bleeding slows as Q3 global shipments beat estimates

IDC: PC industry bleeding slows as Q3 global shipments beat estimates

Summary: But analysts warned that this report should not be construed as a comeback for the global PC industry.

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For most of 2013, the narrative of the PC industry has been on the verge of becoming a bloody horror story. But the bleeding has finally slowed, based on the latest figures from the IDC.

The market research firm published its third quarter report on Wednesday after the bell, with analysts affirming that worldwide shipments of 81.6 million units beat expectations.

However, sales are still falling as shipments were down eight percent from the same time last year.

The short story here is that the PC market didn't do as badly as expected (for the time being) thanks to the enterprise and public sector markets with a "slight uptick in business volume" being a contributing factor.

IDC researchers summed up the consumer market contribution and sentiment as "lukewarm at best," pointing fingers at market share losses by Acer and ASUS respectively.

Lenovo, HP and Dell all saw gains in their global shares over the three-month period on an annual basis.

Nevertheless, Loren Loverde, vice president of the worldwide PC Trackers team at IDC, warned in the report that these figures should not be construed as a comeback for the global PC industry.

Whether constrained by a weak economy or being selective in their tech investments, buyers continue to evaluate options and delay PC replacements. Despite being a little ahead of forecast, and the work that’s being done on new designs and integration of features like touch, the Q3 results suggest that there’s still a high probability that we’ll see another decline in worldwide shipments in 2014.

Researchers highlighted the Asia/Pacific region as particularly troubling looking forward, notably in developing markets. However, sales in China were said to be better than expected at least.

Zoning in on the U.S., IDC analysts said the domestic PC market is demonstrating "signs of recovery," although shipments were down by approximately 0.2 percent annually. These positive turnaround signs hovered mostly around Windows, including a wider range of Windows 8 devices available now along with a notable migration pattern from Windows XP to Windows 7.

HP took the crown once again for the U.S. PC market, followed by Dell, Apple, Lenovo, and Toshiba, respectively.

Within the top five, only Apple experienced a decline in market share on an annual basis, dropping by 11.2 percent.

But while also touting interest around Chromebooks during the quarter, IDC senior research analyst Rajani Singh, Sr. ended things with a gloomy outlook, remarking "the U.S. market has not changed much, with hopes for a small increase in Q4 followed by a challenging 2014."

Table via IDC

Topics: Tech Industry, Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, PCs

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7 comments
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  • The Win 8 touch UI needs to be coupled with touch hardware

    "Zoning in on the U.S., IDC analysts said the domestic PC market is demonstrating "signs of recovery," although shipments were down by approximately 0.2 percent annually. These positive turnaround signs hovered mostly around Windows, including a wider range of Windows 8 devices available now along with a notable migration pattern from Windows XP to Windows 7."

    MS' strategy of placing Win 8 touch oriented machines first in retail seems to be working. Selling Win 8 on non-touch machines have been the problem all along. OEMs need to stop selling Win 8 on non-touch machines ASAP. This significantly undermines sales.
    P. Douglas
  • Ouch

    Those are horrible numbers for Acer and Asus.

    Possible merger of the two ?
    Alan Smithie
    • I wouldn't hope Acer onto anyone

      They make low end low quality devices, but do not price them accordingly.

      I wish Asus would put some of their designs from their Android devices towards Windows 8.1 devices. They are not exactly the brand name I look for when buying laptops/desktops. Tablets on the other hand, very much.
      Emacho
  • The general tone of the IDC remarks point to a company that

    refuses to admit that their predictions were wrong. Their comments continue to point to a company that seems to hope that their predictions do come true and that PCs will lose a lot of sales, and that the loss in sales will translate into tablets sales.

    Their weak statement contains the following: "Whether constrained by a weak economy or being selective in their tech investments, buyers continue to evaluate options and delay PC replacements."

    That statement says it all. They didn't expect that the regular consumer and businesses would still be so interested in PCs, so, IDC needed to come up with excuses. Buyers have, indeed, evaluated their purchasing options, and they've decided that, they already have good enough PCs sitting around their homes, and another purchase is not such a prudent decision, especially in a rotten economy. IDC had to admit, finally, that the economy might have something to do with the slower pace of PC sales. But, IDC still hopes that the major trend goes with their predictions, otherwise, people might stop looking at their awful predictions.
    adornoe
  • PC Train Wreck Continues Plunge

    The train wreck known as Windows 8.x/Metro UI certainly ain't helping. Most likely those continue to be significant factors in causing folks to look at other alternatives.
    Asok Smith
  • The PC numbers aren't what many people think

    One thing I don't think most people take into account concerning the death of the PC is what type of PCs are in decline and what type people are still buying. The budget PCs - the ones epitomized by the $300 emachines with a Celeron processor and 256MB of RAM in the mid 2000s are in decline. People who bought them didn't need a PC to begin with - they just needed a way to access the Internet. An iPad does that just fine. High end business machines and gaming PCs however have not seen the steep decline in sales that the lower end models have. In reality the PC isn't dying at all and it still has its place alongside the iPad and other post-PC devices.
    bchristian1985
  • PC+ Era

    We are in the PC+ era. Everyone has a PC + another device. PC shipments slowing because most people find there PC good enough (for now), and don't have a tablet yet. If you work in any type of Office environment PC are very strong.
    Sean Foley