PC Shipments Falter

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The slumping economy and pressure from tablet PC sales contributed to lower computer shipments during the second quarter, according to reports by IDC and Gartner.

Gartner reported worldwide shipments inched up 2.3 percent for the second quarter, while IDC put the figure at 2.6 percent.

However, shipments in the U.S. market did not fare as well, falling 4.2 percent, said IDC, with Gartner pointing to a 5.6 percent falloff.

Neither company includes tablet PCs in its PC shipment figures; these are tracked separately.

Hewlett-Packard remained the worldwide shipment leader on both reports, followed by Dell, Lenovo, Acer, Asus and Toshiba, stated Gartner. Dell moved back into second place based on strong Asia/Pacific sales, displacing Acer, which fell to fourth. Gartner blamed the decline on its low-price, high-volume business model, which the research firm no longer considers effective.

IDC’s list mirrored Gartner’s but did not include a sixth company.

Part of the shipment slowdown was due to the very strong shipment numbers posted during the first half of 2010.

Gartner also fingered U.S. consumer spending and tablets as soft spots.

“Given the hype around media tablets such as the iPad, retailers were very conservative in placing orders for PCs. Instead, they wanted to secure space for media tablets. Some PC vendors had to lower their inventory through promotions, while others slimmed their product lines at retailers,” said Gartner’s Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst.

HP retained the top spot, shipping 4.5 million units, a 1.2 percent dip, for 26.9 percent of the market. Dell was second, with 3.8 million units shipped, down 9.8 percent, for 22.6 percent of the market.

Gartner had Apple as the top performer for the second quarter, with shipments increasing 8.5 percent to 1.8 million, or 10.7 percent share. Toshiba also did well, increasing its shipments 3.3 percent to 1.6 million for 9.6 percent of the market. Acer’s U.S. figures reflected its worldwide performance, with shipments falling a tremendous 22.6 percent to 3.5 million for a 9.3 share.

IDC’s top five U.S. leaders matched Gartner’s list, with the same companies posting increases or decreases in units shipped.

The firms did expect a stronger second half.


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