Microsoft wanted us all to believe Windows 8 would spark a new wave of consumer upgrades, and finally put to rest all the doom and gloom stories about declining PC sales. Skeptics were skeptical (surprise), but at least a few of these naysayers have been proven right. Windows 8 hasn’t lit the PC world on fire, but can we all at least agree it’s just a bit too early to say Windows 8 is a flop? Blogs from around the web pounced on the Supersite’s headline declaring Windows 8 a failure, but the story here is much more complicated.
HP’s behavior in 2011 has been, well, erratic, to say the least. (The absolute least.) The PR missteps by the world’s top PC supplier has opened a crack just wide enough for other companies to sneak in and steal HP’s title of king of the PC hill. So which competitor has the gumption to take the top spot? Lenovo recently unseated Dell from the number two position, so it appears to hold the prime position for usurpation. Wrong! says one analyst – who expects Apple to become the global PC leader in in 2012.
Whenever you’re talking about the PC market these days, the talk inevitably turns to doom and gloom. HP ditching PCs! Tablets eating into sales! Everyone already has Windows 7! And on and on. Even our ever-optimistic PC enthusiasm can become kind of dulled in the midst of all the bad news. The dark cloud of slumping sales may soon be over, though; a new report expects the PC market to regain momentum in 2012.
You don’t get a leg up on your competitors by just sitting around (unless you’re a lemming, of course). Lenovo’s staying plenty active and reaping the dividends. The company slipped past Acer to claim the spot as the world's third-largest PC manufacturer in the second quarter thanks to a ridiculous 22.9 surge in shipments, a rarity in the otherwise sluggish PC market. Now, Lenovo Chairman Liu Chuanzhi is putting his mouth where his money is; he isn’t content with the bronze medal and says Lenovo will topple Dell as the second-largest PC manufacturer in all the land by the end of the year.
The tidings look grim on the PC front. Despite a surge in sales from the first quarter to the second in 2011 (maybe due to Witcher 2's awesomeness?), the total number of units moved have plummeted over the past year. Some manufacturers have managed to grab sunbeams between all the rain, though. A new report reveals that the ranks of the top five computer manufacturers have undergone a serious shift as some scramble for ground that others have given up.
Our very own Gordon Mah Ung may have given Intel’s Sandy Bridge an enthusiastic two thumbs up from a technical stand point, however it appears analysis are preparing to blame the dreaded Cougar Point chipset problem for a lack of consumer adoption. While it’s difficult to find fault in the way Intel handled the problem, it’s safe to say from a marketing stand point it was a train wreck that almost reached an “Antenagate” level of fervor at its peak. The company has since resumed shipments, but analysts for FBR are suggesting that the PC market hasn’t seen the expected uptick in sales promised by Intel after conducting interviews with six of the top tier PC makers.
PC vender Acer is on quite the roll as of late. They’ve finally become number two in worldwide notebook sales, beating out Dell. Now they expect to be able to ship 40 million notebooks in 2010, and take the number one spot from market leader HP.
Earlier this year Acer was predicting only 33 to 37 million units shipped, but better than expected performance in the second half of the year caused them to raise expectations. One of Acer’s major problems is the ongoing shortage of hardware, including optical drives, LCD panels, hard drives, and graphics chips. Acer Chairman, JT Wang, indicated that even with possible shortages the company would likely reach its goal.
Acer has become a major player in the last few years. Their notebook shipments have more than doubled, mostly due to the success of netbooks marketed heavily to consumers. They plan to continue on this path into next year.
Sales of PCs were up in the second quarter of 2009, according to market analytics firm, iSupply. Global shipments were up 1% over the first quarter to 67.2 million units. This is the first increase in six months. It’s not all roses though; sales were still down 4.3% from Q2 of last year. However, going into the end of the year, sales are expected to stay strong in part due to the October release of Windows 7. The likely advertising blitz will get PCs in many mainstream media outlets.
In this past quarter, HP managed to hold the top sales spot for the twelfth quarter in a row. HP’s sales were up 2% over last quarter, leaving it with a 20% market share. "HP is not only maintaining its leadership position but is also gaining market share due to its robust notebook business, which has outgrown the overall notebook segment for the past two quarters," said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for iSuppli. Dell and Acer continued to fight it out for the number two spot.
Stamford-based IT research firm Gartner has revealed the worldwide PC industry’s sales figures for the second quarter. Overall, the global PC industry registered a growth of 16% as a total of 71.9 million units were shipped during the quarter. More and more people are turning to notebooks, as opposed to desktops, as notebook prices continue to plummet. However, the US PC industry couldn’t keep up with the highly promising growth rate seen globally and managed a much subdued rate of 4.2% - total shipments stood at 16.5 million units.
If its Q2 performance is anything to go by, HP is not moving an inch from its position as the top PC maker in the world. HP’s sales grew at a faster rate than even the global average. But Dell is not too keen on staying at No.2 either. It raised its market share to 15.6% and even outshone HP’s year-over-year growth rate. These days one can’t resist mentioning netbooks but they really didn’t leave much of a mark in the US; still early days, though.