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IDC reports 4.4% decline in PC shipments

Not as bad as expected

Research firm IDC reports that worldwide PC shipments totalled 73.4 million units in the first quarter of the year. This is a 4.4% decline compared to Q1 2013, but there were still some winners (and losers of course).

Lenovo is still in the lead, but HP isn’t far behind. Lenovo shipped 12.9 million PCs last quarter, while HP came in a close second with 12.5 million. Dell ranked third with 9.8 million. Acer and Asus are in fourth and fifth place with 4.9 and 4.3 million units respectively. Smaller vendors accounted for 39.2 percent of all shipments.

While the numbers are still bad, they are not as bad IDC originally projected. IDC was expecting a 5.3% decline. What’s more, Gartner thinks shipments only fell 1.7% and totalled 76.6 million rather than 73.4 million.

The US market was stagnant, contracting 0.6% in the first quarter. IDC said EMEA outperformed its expectations. The same is true of Japan, which saw “sizable growth.” The land of the rising sun gobbled up 7% of all PCs shipped in Q1, the biggest slice of the market since 2006.

The Asia-Pacific region is still struggling with lacklustre demand and inventory remains high.

"PC shipment growth in the United States remained slightly faster than most other regions in the first quarter. However, the passing boost from XP replacements, constrained consumer demand, and no clear driver of a market rebound are expected to keep growth below zero going forward," said Rajani Singh, Senior Research Analyst, Personal Computing. "A rebound in consumer or a continuation of accelerated commercial upgrades could boost growth slightly, but low demand for upgrades in general combined with competition from tablets and 2-in-1 systems limit the growth potential."

It appears that the demise of Windows XP helped vendors boost shipments and beat forecasts. It is difficult to say whether the XP transition will have a significant impact on sales moving forward. Many organisations that planned to upgrade already did it in Q1, but there may be quite a few stragglers, especially among individual users and SMBs.

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