Global PC shipments exceed forecast

Apple slightly outshines Asus to take number-five spot, IDC says

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Global PC shipments exceed forecast
By  Stephen McBride Published  October 9, 2014

Worldwide PC shipments totalled 78.5m units in the third quarter of 2014, a year-on-year decline of 1.7%, but a sizable improvement over the forecast 4.1% drop, according to figures released by the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

Many of the trends from the second quarter remained relevant and contributed to the Q3 2014 results, the research firm said. Commercial PC purchases played a key role in many markets, with the top three vendors - Lenovo, HP, and Dell - all showing solid year-on-year growth.

Shipments of entry-level systems, including Chromebooks, continued to inject an important source of volume and sustained improved consumer demand in some markets over recent quarters. But mature markets still drove overall results, with North America and parts of Europe seeing significant improvements across segments. Although Windows XP migrations have slowed, an improved business outlook, tablet saturation in some markets, and expanded offerings of competitive notebooks have influenced recent positive trends.

Emerging regions as a whole proved disappointing, although stronger-than-expected consumer demand in Asia-Pacific, spurred by the continued expansion of entry-level portable PCs, provided a silver lining.

"Although shipments did not decline as much as feared, these preliminary results still show that Q3 2014 was one of the weaker calendar third quarters on record in terms of sequential growth," said Jay Chou, senior research analyst, Worldwide PC Trackers, IDC.

"The third quarter has historically been driven by back-to-school sales and renewed business purchasing, which were weaker than normal this year. The current growth of lower-priced systems, while encouraging in the short run, brings concern for the long term viability of vendors to adequately remain in the PC space."

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