Calcutta, April 14: Worldwide PC shipments in the first quarter of this year fell 1.1 per cent to 84.3 million units. Though the first quarter is traditionally slow, the shipments indicate potential sluggishness and not a normal seasonal slowdown, according to a Gartner study.
Steady growth in the professional PC sector, driven by a replacement cycle, was a bright spot for the global market. Without the professional segment growth, the PC market could have experienced one of the worst declines. Replacement sales are expected to continue into late 2011 or the start of 2012, with minor variations between different regions and market segments.
Weak demand for consumer PCs was the biggest inhibitor of growth. Low prices for consumer PCs, which had long stimulated growth no longer attracted buyers. Instead, consumers turned their attention to products such as tablets. With the launch of the iPad 2 in February, more consumers either switched to an alternative device or simply held back from buying PCs, said Mikako Kitagawa, principle analyst of Gartner.
We are investigating whether this trend is likely to have a long-term effect on the PC market.
The decline is below Gartners earlier prediction of a 3 per cent growth during the period.
Hewlett-Packard (HP) performed below the worldwide average but maintained its No. 1 position accounting for 17.6 per cent of the PC shipments. It was impacted by weak consumer demand as well as growing issues in the Asia Pacific region. Acer continued to face challenges as the mini notebook market was impacted by tablets, and shipments declined 12.9 per cent.
Dell, too, experienced a year-on-year decline for the first time in six quarters.