Report points to 5 percent mobile PC shipments decline

Report points to 5 percent mobile PC shipments decline

Summary: Shipments of tablet PCs and mobile PCs are down, but it is nothing compared to the bloodbath suffered by notebooks.


One of the current drags on the PC industry is falling tablet PC shipments, and a new report by NPD DisplaySearch indicates that the drop could be as much as 5 percent annually.

(Source: NPD DisplaySearch)

Tablet PCs accounted for more than half of all mobile PC shipments for the Q1 2014 period, and year-on-year shipment growth for these devices fell for the first time, down almost 5 percent, from 59 million units shipped in Q1 2013 to 56.3 million units in Q1 2014.

Mobile PCs have displayed a similar year-on-year fall of 5 percent, with 99 million units shipped in Q1 2014 compared to 104.4 million units in Q1 2013.

But this is nothing compared to the bloodbath suffered by notebooks, which are down 14 percent, from 40.7 million units in Q1 2013 to 35 million units in Q1 2014. Offsetting this, ultra-slim PC shipments rose 62 percent, up from 4.8 million units in Q1 2013 to 7.8 million units in Q1 2014.

In the mobile PC market, Apple remains king, with nearly twice the share of second-ranked Samsung, and over 80 percent of Apple’s mobile PC shipments were tablet PCs, compared to 90 percent of Samsung’s shipments.

The report claims that both Lenovo and HP saw their mobile PC shipments grow between Q1 2013 and Q1 2014. Lenovo has seen its tablet PC shipments increase from 3 percent of its overall mobile PC shipments in Q1 2013, to nearly 30 percent in Q1 2014.

See also:

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Laptops

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  • Windows 8

    I think the Windows 8 uncertainty - where Microsoft completely lost control of the marketing message - has something to do with the drop in laptop sales, as has the shift to convertibles.
    The average consumer doesn't know if Windows 8 is good or not so they hold off, which is the typical FUD pattern. As soon as there's a rebranding of Windows 8 (Windows 9? Windows Satya?) there will be a massive increase in sales.
    • A minor role...

      I think "Windows 8 uncertainty" had a very minor role. It certainly has paid absolutely no part in my company's purchases. I think what played a MUCH larger role was whether or not the existing PC or laptop was still up to the task of providing the performance needed, or if it was in need of an upgrade. I therefore expect this downward trend to continue. Tablet PCs brought something new to the table in terms of functionality, but it looks like even that market may be approaching saturation, and I suspect that it's due to similar reasons - no need to upgrade because the performance of the existing platform is still up to the task.
      Brian Steele (2014)
    • A turd by any other name

      The marketing man wants to solve the problem by rebadging the failed product.

      The product failed because it's a complete waste of space.

      Windows 7 is the new XP.

      Vista wasn't an improvement on XP

      And Windows 8 isn't an improvement on Windows 7.

      So why would anybody go through an expensive an painful upgrade process?

      Its pointless
      Henry 3 Dogg
  • Report points to 5 percent mobile PC shipments decline

    We have reached the post-tablet era. Every article about tablets now is talking about the decline of them. I knew this day would finally come.
    • Balanced, Worthwhile Post

      There will always be a substantial use/market for Desktops. The crucial issues of ergonomics guarantee this as I explain in other Posts.
      It's just that many are just not needing to buy up to cutting edge, more bells and whistles, latest greatest. When as you are saying what they have works well for them for now. in the foreseeable future many like myself will buy again.
      • My Apology

        This was a Reply to Cable's Post way down. When something goes awry now on the revamped ZDNet; well they didn't restore the needed Edit Feature. So I can't fix this. Not for you L.D.
    • Reply To L.D.

      It's a little premature to sound the death knell yet with only a 5% reduction which may remain stable or reverse upwards yet. And 95% is still a huge volume of sales market.
      Your prediction is most likely right, but we're not there yet. The bottom is not out of this market yet, it's not yet approaching a downward spiral. Tho' that all may change.
      I'm saying it's a wee might early to crow about it. lol
  • this day would finally come............

    ........Yeah, users realized that they could do most work on a smartphone, so why buy a tablet?? why buy a laptop................. so why buy a why buy a ....... um, maybe a smart watch will do?

    And then they woke up.........
  • Useless

    This data is next to useless without examples of devices which fall under each category. I'm seeing references to:

    Tablet PCs... a category which, I guess, covers iPads and Android tablets. But does it cover Windows hybrids like the ASUS T100, how about 8" devices like the Dell venue 8 pro? How about Surface?

    Mobile PCs... a category which includes... what exactly?

    Notebooks... a category that appears to include a subset of mobile PCs. But how is it defined?

    Ultra Slim PCs... a category that includes... what exactly? Are these just low profile desktops? If so, why were tower PCs not included in the accounting?

    Really, this is a very odd survey... or a lackluster summary of the survey.
  • Its all a mishmash of stats

    As AKH's article sits its hard to say anything special about those stats beyond the obvious.

    And the obvious is that mobile tablet/laptop sales are down. While in AKH's article he dosnt appear to offer up explanations, the obvious jumps to mind, some of who have mentioned here already. Market saturation.

    It would be hard to believe given all the tablets sold over the last few years that some degree of market saturation isnt finally starting to take hold. This kind of phenomenon obviously isnt odd, unusual or indicative of bad products or unsatisfied customers. Without some kind of further proof, its only evidence that most of the people who want the product have now bought one, and that the people who bought one some time back are increasingly finding no further desire to buy a brand new one, often for no other reason than they feel that what they have is at least good enough for their interests and needs for now.

    These are pretty darn uncontroversial conclusions, that happen on a regular basis in all sorts of markets where products at least with somewhat similar market profiles are sold. Its not to say its impossible such conclusions are wrong, something unusual and hidden from view, in this case hidden from the probing eyes and ears of the entire IT community, could always be at work that for some reason nobody is really aware of. But until some significant evidence of that arises, one has to admit, the obvious and typical experience found in many other product markets is the most likely when they are accompanied with supporting facts, like massive amounts of the product having been sold to the public already.

    Unlike how many of the B.S. hater FUD crowd around here like to talk out of both sides of their face, where they may insist one obvious conclusion may apply to their product of choice but they do not allow for the very same explanation to apply to products they hate in the same circumstances, I would submit that this is in fact the same conclusion that was applied by the honest and intelligent about the reason for the PC desktop and laptop market showing declining sales over the last few years. In this case I AM saying whats good for the goose IS good for the gander.

    The simply fascinating part in my mind about all this is that its not rocket science. Its not some incredibly twisted conclusion designed out of wishful thinking or negativity. Its largely very very common knowledge stuff relying on some obvious facts that are clearly in existence and nothing in particular to indicate some hidden and unusual force is at work instead. And that its the same thing many tried to scream at the top of their lungs when so many idiots claimed that iPads were kicking Windows PC's to the curb, that we were entering the post PC era and in a few years we could all have PC bonfires because nobody would want or need one.

    Yet common sense certainly indicates to me where every single person I knew 4 years ago that had a PC or number of PC's, desktop or laptop, likewise with businesses, all still have and use those same PC's not a whole lot different today then they did back 4 years ago. The only big difference between now and four years ago is a lot more PC's four years ago were a whole lot closer to being new, and today, a whole lot more of those PC's turn out to be exactly the SAME PC's that were there 4 years ago. Thats the big difference and its because of market saturation and a diminished need to upgrade.

    I dont know why it is that so many people around here feel its so important to hate the guts of some products so much they come on ZDNet and argue against common sense and bluntly obvious facts to make a product they hate sound like trash.

    Its pointless. And its never credible.
    • My Reply... your Post ended up under L.D.'s above??
  • What is a "mobile PC"?

    What is a "mobile PC"?
  • Ummmm... Market Saturation anyone???

    I'd say the greater proportion of people who wanted/needed one of these devices already has one. My Notebook is 5 years old, has a video card 6 generations old and can still run Diablo III just fine. This tells me that the hardware is not seeing technology leapfrogs like they used to have. In short. Hardware has a longer useful life than it used to.

    Also, Tablets and Notebooks aren't quite as handy as smartphones, even if the phones are a pain to read on. As more people migrate to smartphones, they'll need the larger form factors less for their day-to-day basic needs.