IDC: PC Shipments Saw Unprecedented Decline in First Quarter

Pulkit Chandna

Fourth successive quarter of year-on-year shipment declines

Global PC shipments hit a new low in the first quarter of 2013, falling 13.9 percent from the same quarter a year ago. This is according to market research firm IDC, which is calling it the steepest year-on-year quarterly decline in PC shipments since it got into this whole business of tracking PC sales.

“Worldwide PC shipments totaled 76.3 million units in the first quarter of 2013 (1Q13), down -13.9% compared to the same quarter in 2012 and worse than the forecast decline of -7.7%, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker,” the market research firm said in a press release Wednesday, adding that this was the worst quarterly decline since IDC first began compiling PC shipment data in 1994.

IDC analyst Bob O'Donnell feels a large part of the blame for this unprecedented slump in shipments lies with Windows 8 which, through a bevy of unnecessary UI changes and the additional costs associated with touch, has “made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices.” He has called upon Microsoft to make some tough decisions in order to arrest this decline.

Of the five top vendors, only Lenovo managed to hold its own during the disastrous quarter. While Lenovo shipped virtually the same number of units as last year, it did manage to gain market share at the expense of its rivals, going from commanding 13.2 percent of the global PC market an year ago to 15.3 percent during the first quarter.

Acer was the hardest hit with a 31.03 percent year-on-year decline in shipments, followed by market leader HP, Asus and Dell, who saw shipments fall 23.7 percent, 19.2 percent and 10.9 percent, respectively.

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