Wednesday, October 9th 2013

PC Shipments Down 7.6% in Q3, According to IDC

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 81.6 million units in the third quarter of 2013 (3Q13). In year-on-year terms, the market contracted -7.6%, ahead of a projected decline of -9.5% for the quarter, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. While shipments remained weak during the early part of the quarter, the market was somewhat buoyed by business purchases, as well as channel intake of Windows 8.1-based systems during September.

A slight uptick in business volume contributed to shipments. The top three vendors (Lenovo, HP, and Dell), which all have an important presence in the enterprise and public sectors, each saw modest positive year-on-year growth during the quarter. Conversely, consumer sentiment remained lukewarm at best, as evidenced by the continued struggles of Acer and ASUS.

Despite some encouraging developments in the business space, emerging markets continued to exhibit troubling signs, with Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan)(APeJ) in particular still facing stock of Ivy Bridge-based systems and continued encroachment from lower-priced tablets and smartphones.

"The third quarter was pretty close to forecast, which unfortunately doesn't reflect much improvement in the PC market, or potential for near-term growth," said Loren Loverde, Vice President Worldwide PC Trackers. "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 third quarter results suggest that there's still a high probability that we will see another decline in worldwide shipments in 2014."

"The United States outperformed many other regions as growth stabilized just under 0%. Continuing upgrades from Windows XP boosted shipments, particularly in the commercial desktop segment, while retail acceptance of new and emerging product categories, such as Chromebooks and Ultraslims, helped the portables segment," said Rajani Singh, Senior Research Analyst, Personal Computers. "Nevertheless, the broad picture of the U.S. market has not changed much, with hopes for a small increase in the fourth quarter followed by a challenging 2014."

Regional Highlights

United States
- The U.S. market continued to show signs of recovery although shipments were down slightly (-0.2%) year over year in the quarter. Better alignment with channel partners and internal restructuring helped most of the top vendors to grow faster than the market. Additionally, emerging product categories and a greater assortment of Windows 8-based models supported the volume uptick. Migration from Windows XP to Windows 7 added a few basis points as well. HP maintained its leadership position, gaining a few points of share in the U.S. Among the other top-tier leaders, Lenovo recorded impressive growth of 25.8% year on year and managed to maintain strong positive momentum by growing its channel reach and relationship sales.

EMEA - The PC market in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) contracted in the third quarter in line with IDC forecasts. PC shipments remained constrained particularly in the home segment, which continued to suffer from weak consumer demand amid an ongoing budget shift to tablets. From a supply perspective, the quarter was also affected by an unfavorable year-on-year comparison with 3Q12, when shipments were supported by preparation to Windows 8 launch. Lean inventory remained a priority for channel partners across EMEA during 3Q13, inhibiting further sell-in. Portable PC shipments suffered a particularly strong decline, while desktops were less constrained. As forecast, the commercial market was less negative than the consumer market due to pockets of investments remaining available despite constrained spending. Shipments were also supported by seasonal back-to-school projects.

Japan - The PC market in Japan performed better than expected. Improved economic sentiments, favorable exchange rates, and the approaching expiration of Windows XP support helped to lift the market although consumer buying remained suppressed. Most of the top 5 vendors saw growth compared to the year before.

Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) - APeJ was generally close to forecasts with a decline of -8.8% year on year. Many countries, particularly in developing markets, struggled with exchange rate pressures, but commercial buying in China was better than expected.

Vendor Highlights

Lenovo
maintained the top PC vendor title, and continued to expand its channel reach as well as experiment with new form factors. Troubles in Asia/Pacific continued to pose a significant problem, where much of the lower-tier channels struggled with inventory clearance, constraining overall growth. However, the vendor posted a strong gain in the U.S. market, growing more than 2% compared to a year ago.

HP finished the quarter in the number 2 position, with growth improving from recent quarters. The company continued to receive a boost from shipments to India as part of a large education project. Shipment trends also improved in the U.S. and EMEA, but HP continued to face struggles in Latin America.

Dell saw its first positive year-on-year growth since the fourth quarter of 2011, thanks largely to maintaining growth in the Americas market. The company also managed to edge past 9.5 million units shipped in a quarter for the first time in over a year.

Acer Group continued to be affected by declines in shipments across all regions due to continued weakness in consumer PC spending. The firm nevertheless has remained aggressive in trying new form factors and hybrid devices.

ASUS shared a similar predicament with Acer where despite a focus on new designs, its lack of corporate customer base has also limited its growth.
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14 Comments on PC Shipments Down 7.6% in Q3, According to IDC

#1
cmaxvt
I like how they take this to mean PC usage is dying. It means that better hardware isn't compelling enough to repurchase, our old computers still work. Most of the masses that want a PC have one now, and it's time to start selling them based on a longer lifecycle, not "every PC users has to rebuy every 2 years" because they don't.

Kudos to the PC vendors on making lasting hardware I say.
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#2
Sp33d Junki3
I know, wish they even understand what PC building is.
PC is no where near being dead. This year alone, it has gone up more than last year.
More people are starting too see than these pre-built garbage paper weights, are just a burden to the industry.

Where you can head over to NCIX and have a custom PC built, with the parts you pick out yourself. which will vastly be superior.
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#3
Dent1
PC shipment is down because we have amended the concept to laptops, notebook, mobile phones, tablets, HTPC etc. These are all "computers". They are just not PCs.

I bet when the market is 90% APUs, they will say "CPU" shipments down. They are processors. They are not CPUs.


Also, computers are becoming so powerful, upgrades are becoming less influential on performance gain.
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#4
Stickmansam
Shipments of PC's made by large OEM's are down is what they mean. I've managed to convince pretty much everyone I know to build their own PC's or let someone build it for them. Higher quality parts and last longer imo. Only hassle is buying your own OS and having to handle individual warranty and building it.

I think a better measure would be shipments of must have PC parts say CPU's or motherboards would be a better indicator.
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#5
Jaffakeik
Is there still people who buy pre-Build-up systems?
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#6
Gavin
by: Jaffakeik
Is there still people who buy pre-Build-up systems?
Tons, i sold at least 2-3 computers a day myself when i worked at staples a year ago and from what i hear it hasn't changed much.
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#7
Jorge
Before you know it someone will declare an economic recession...
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#8
Th3pwn3r
There are already so many people with PCs. Every year more and more people have them in their homes. There's less and less reason for PCs to be purchased because of that. If you have a car that does what you need it to do you usually go out and buy another? No, not normally.
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#9
Sasqui
In April 2014, Microsoft will officially retire XP. There are still a lot of enterprise installations with XP and old hardware. Expect a signifcant boost in PC purchasing next year...

Home buying of PC's is slowing. Aside from gaming and MS Office, tablets and smartphones are definitely killing PC sales. No longer do people have to spend $2000 to play solitare and surf for porn and cornbread recipes :)
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#10
rtwjunkie
All this is saying is that PRE-BUILT PC's by major OEM's is down. Has nothing to do with how many self-built or custom-built PC's are out there...and growing.
Posted on Reply
#11
EpicShweetness
by: Stickmansam
Only hassle is buying your own OS and having to handle individual warranty and building
by: Jaffakeik
Is there still people who buy pre-Build-up systems?
I've found that unless someone buys laptop I'm building a system for them. In most cases because i can build a "better" system then an OEM can. Yes the OS can make it more expensive, but if the OEM supplied a recovery disc then the OS is taken care of, and they can save $99. In most cases I've found my self building a a "WOW" box, so ya.....
Posted on Reply
#12
micropage7
people using pc usually for long term, like 2 years or more. between that period they may add hdd or other hardware and its really different with portable stuff that you "cant" upgrade and today, it looks like people prefer buying portable stuff than pc.
thats simple explanation
Posted on Reply
#13
Prima.Vera
The answer is simple. The anti-tech guys just buy tablets or laptops, while the PC literates and/or gaming guys just prefer to buy parts and assembly them. Why in the world would anyone buy a pre-build system?!?! It takes all the fun away!!
Posted on Reply
#14
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: Prima.Vera
The answer is simple. The anti-tech guys just buy tablets or laptops, while the PC literates and/or gaming guys just prefer to buy parts and assembly them. Why in the world would anyone buy a pre-build system?!?! It takes all the fun away!!
Anti-tech? PC literates? Good god.

The point of a pre built is simplicity, time, and support, and in some cases even money. At the low low end a pre built is as cheap as anything you can build on your own (when including a Windows license, which still is ubiquitous in the PC space). And if you don't know how to build one, don't want to know how to build one and don't have the time to build one or to learn how to build one, why should you? And if something goes wrong you call support, unless you have a kid in your family/circle of friends that knows stuff, and chances are that kid, as it turns out, knows nothing and what he really is good at is trolling Facebook.

So they absolutely have a place in this world, a bigger place than custom PC's actually, and it will stay that way. This space is being chipped away by tablets and smartphones, that is clear. As Sasqui say, things will get interesting when XP fases out (god I can't wait for that glorious day to come, I really REALLY wish I'll work at MS tech support that day) though.
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