Gartner: PC Industry Hit Its Lowest Point in History During Second Quarter

Pulkit Chandna

Fifth successive quarter of year-on-year shipment declines

The ongoing decline in PC shipments simply refuses to bottom out, with the troubled industry slumping to its fifth successive year-on-year quarterly shipment decline during the second quarter of 2013. This is by far the longest period of decline the PC industry has ever witnessed.

According to research firm Gartner’s preliminary PC shipment estimates for the recently concluded second quarter, worldwide shipments fell 10.9 percent year-on-year during the period to reach 76 million units, making it “the longest duration of decline in the PC market’s history.”

Further, the decline was truly global, with not even one of the major markets managing to buck the trend. Of course, some regions were more badly hit than others.

“The fall in the Asia/Pacific PC market continued, showing five consecutive quarters of the shipment decline, while the EMEA PC market registered two consecutive quarters of double-digit decline,” reads an Gartner press release announcing the preliminary data. “In the U.S. market, PC shipments totaled 15 million units in the second quarter of 2013, a 1.4 percent decline from the second quarter of 2012. This decline was less than the past seven quarters, and the market grew 8.5 percent sequentially.”

Considering how long this decline has gone on, we expect you to be fully familiar with its causes by now. In case you aren’t, however, here’s what Isabelle Durand, principal research analyst at Gartner, has to say: “The sharp decline in the second quarter of 2013 was partly due to the shift in usage patterns away from notebooks to tablets, and partly because the PC market was exposed to inventory reductions in the channel due to the start of the transition to new Haswell-based products. Touch-based notebooks still account for less than 10 per cent of the total consumer notebook shipments in the last quarter.”

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