Worldwide PC sales remained virtually flat in the second quarter, according to a new report. The report, from industry research firm Gartner, showed a slight drop of 0.1 percent.
Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa said in a statement that the PC market in Q2 "suffered through its seventh consecutive quarter of flat to single-digit growth." Kitagawa attributed the key reasons for this sales performance to economic uncertainty in some regions and a dropping interest on the part of consumers for PCs.
Ultrabooks in 'Early Adopter Stage'
The report also noted that Ultrabooks, an ultra-light, high-performance form factor being pushed by Intel, had a "small" shipment volume and "little impact on overall shipment growth."
Consumers are "less interested in spending on PCs" than on other products such as smartphones and media tablets, Kitagawa said. A lot of PC makers' R&D funding has been spent on Ultrabooks, the analyst noted, and, although a major promotion for Ultrabooks occurred in the latter part of Q2, this "segment is still in an early adopter's stage."
First place in worldwide PC shipments is still held by Hewlett-Packard, whose 14.9 percent market share represented a dip from last year's 16.9 percent share. The report attributed some of HP's decline to "internal issues" from the company's top management shakeup.
HP is also facing "aggressive pricing from Lenovo" for sales to the professional market, and from Asus and Samsung among consumers.
Lenovo is in second place with 14.7 percent market share, up from 12.7 percent in Q2 of 2011. The report indicated that Lenovo has been aggressively expanding through acquisitions as well as pricing, and that its growth is coming at the expense of both Dell and HP.
Third-place Acer is also up, to 11 percent, compared with 10.6 percent last year. Gartner said Acer has been clearing out inventory to "prepare for growth," and that, as one of the first Ultrabook vendors, it may also be one of the first to drop Ultrabook prices.
The report describes Dell, now in fourth place, as in the process of "transforming itself from a PC supplier to solutions provider for professional markets." Although that manufacturer is not actively pursuing market share gain, Gartner said, it does need a certain amount of market share stability.
Nevertheless, Dell dropped to 10.7 percent market share from 12.1 percent in 2011's second quarter.
Fifth-place Asus is showing the greatest increase in sales, going from 5 percent to 7 percent.
A report from industry research firm IDC, also released this week, showed a similar overall assessment, with worldwide shipments falling 0.1 percent from a year ago.
IDC attributed the flat sales to a limited demand from various distribution channels that are "wary of building inventory ahead of new product launches this fall," most notably the launch of Windows 8. The report also pointed out that Ultrabooks have not yet taken off, and that consumers are reluctant to buy PCs in an environment with a weak recovery and so much technological transition.
Posted: 2012-07-13 @ 6:50am PT
Around a year ago we notified our IT help desk provider WorkSpace to submit an analysis for support of iPad within our user base. We expected at least 10% adoption within a year or two. A few weeks ago I was shocked that over 60% of our personnel moved to iPad within the last 8 months. The overall adoption to tablet is much stronger than we ever expected. The folks over at WorkSpace tell us no rise or fall in support so I guess the impact was minimal overall.