Gartner and IDC blame poor Windows 8 uptake, bad economy and competing devices
While Microsoft’s recent claim that Windows 8 is following a similar sales trajectory as its predecessor may or may not be fully accurate, the latest PC shipment numbers from market research firms Gartner and IDC have made one thing very clear: that Windows 8 sales between October 26 and December 31 weren’t enough to help the PC industry avoid a rare fourth-quarter sales slump.
Compared to a year ago, worldwide sales of mobile phones dropped 3.1 percent to 428 million in the third quarter of 2012, but broken down by category, smartphone sales are surging. According to the latest data compiled by Gartner, smartphone sales are up nearly 47 percent from one year ago. Overall, 4 out of every 10 mobile phones shipped is categorized as a smartphone.
If you've been paying attention to the PC wars, you've known for awhile it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Lenovo at some point would leapfrog Hewlett-Packard (HP) to become the world's top PC supplier. Well, one major research firm claims that's exactly what happened in the third quarter of 2012, while a second firm still has HP ranked No. 1. Sadly, one thing all the major bean counters agree on is that the PC market in general is looking pretty pathetic. Let's take a look.
It wasn't too terribly long ago that "cloud computing" was a loosey-goosey marketing term being thrown around by anyone and everyone in the software space. And now? There's been a marked shift towards cloud-based services, which is a market that research firm Gartner predicts will grow 19.6 percent to $109 billion by the end of 2012.
PC doomsayers received a little more ammunition from Gartner today, which announced that PC shipments in Western Europe totaled just 13.6 million units in the second quarter of 2012. That's a 2.4 percent decline to compared to the same period last year, and it's mostly due to slagging desktop PC sales, which dropped 12.8 percent year-over-year in Q2. Meanwhile, mobile PC shipments are picking up steam.
Intel has launched a new generation of processors, PC markers have released a slew of new machines, and yet nobody is buying them. New data from Gartner and IDC are suggesting that OEM’s continue to struggle in the second quarter to sell new machines, even though refreshed designs traditionally help kick start sales. PC makers shipped around 87.1 million PCs this quarter, which when compared to last year’s 87.2 million represents a concerning trend for investors who expect constant growth. Both analyst firms have been on the hunt for a reason why, and seem to agree that consumers are waiting for….. Windows 8?
PC shipments continued to disappoint in the second quarter of 2012, declining 0.1 percent from the same period last year. This was, according to Gartner’s Mikako Kitagawa, the seventh successive quarter of “flat to single-digit growth” for the global PC industry. Gartner is not alone, though, as the latest data from market research firm IDC also points to an identical 0.1-percent decline in global PC shipments during the quarter.
As with each new version of Windows, Microsoft is not the only one counting on the success of Windows 8. The entire PC industry is hoping that the next iteration of the world’s most popular PC operating system will help lift sluggish sales. But not everyone foresees the launch of Windows 8 later this year stimulating PC sales.
Tablet sales are expected to reach 118.9 million units by the end of the year, a nearly two-fold increase (98 percent) from 60 million units in 2011, market research firm Gartner predicts. It's no surprise that Apple's iPad leads the way and, if Gartner's crystal ball is in proper alignment, the iOS platform will account for more than 61 percent of worldwide tablet sales by the end of 2012. That too isn't shocking. But would you have guessed that Android will still be chasing iOS through 2016, and perhaps longer?
In 2010, the semiconductor spending crown belonged to Hewlett-Packard, more than logical considering HP is the world's largest PC manufacturer. But in 2011, it was Apple that took the No. 1 spot by spending nearly $17.3 billion on semiconductors, up a whopping 34.6 percent over what it spent in 2010 and enough to grab hold of 5.7 percent of the total semiconductor market, according to data released by market research firm Gartner.