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Worldwide PC shipments slip in Q1

PC market showed first year-on-year decline in six quarters says Gartner

Worldwide PC shipments slip in Q1
The worldwide PC market showed its first y-o-y decline in six quarters.

Worldwide PC shipments declined in Q1 this year, according to preliminary market results from Gartner, the first year-on-year decline in six quarters.

Shipments totalled 84.3 million for the quarter, a 1.1% decline from Q1 2010, missing Gartner's forecast of 3% growth.

The analyst company said that while the first quarter is traditionally slow, the results could indicate a more significant slowdown, particularly in the consumer PC sector.

"Weak demand for consumer PCs was the biggest inhibitor of growth," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "Low prices for consumer PCs, which had long stimulated growth, no longer attracted buyers. Instead, consumers turned their attention to media tablets and other consumer electronics. With the launch of the iPad 2 in February, more consumers either switched to buying an alternative device, or simply held back from buying PCs. We're investigating whether this trend is likely to have a long-term effect on the PC market."

The professional PC sector showed better results, with steady growth driven by the replacement cycle. Gartner expects this replacement cycle to continue into late 2011 or early 2012, and warned that without the professional segment growth, the PC market could be facing one its worst declines in recent history.

On a global basis, HP continued to hold the number one slot, accounting for 17.6% of worldwide shipments. Gartner said that the weak consumer PC market, with showing a 3.4% decline in shipments from the same quarter last year.

Acer showed the most drastic decline, with shipments sinking by 12.2%, which Gartner attributed to the ongoing impact of the media tablet on the mini-notebook sector, where Acer has traditionally been a strong performer. Acer held the number two slot, with 12.9% overall market share.

Dell was ranked third with 11.9% market share, although it also saw a decline in shipments of 2.2%, its first decline year-on-year in six quarters.

Lenovo showed the strongest growth in the top five vendors, showing shipment growth of 16.6%, to gain 9.7% market share. Gartner attributed the growth to competitive pricing by the vendor in both consumer and professional segments, which led to strong performance in all regions.

Toshiba also showed shipment growth, with shipments up 5.3%, giving it 5.7% market share.

PC shipments in EMEA totaled 26.1 million units in the first quarter of 2011, a 2.8 percent decline from the first quarter of 2010. This was the first year-over-year shipment decline in the region since the second quarter of 2009. Western Europe remained the main area of weakness in EMEA, as consumers continued to delay spending.

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