Global PC shipments suffered worst decline in 2013

Global PC shipments suffered worst decline in 2013

Marking one of the worst years for the global PC industry, shipments fell by 10 per cent last year as handheld devices like smartphones and tablets grabbed consumers' attention, research firms Gartner and IDC said.

PCs -- which include desktops, notebooks and laptops -- shipment levels in 2013 were similar to that achieved in 2009.

According to Gartner's preliminary data, worldwide PC shipments declined by 10 per cent to 315.96 million units in 2013 from 351.05 million units in 2012.

IDC pegged the fall in PC shipments by 10 per cent to 314.55 million units last year from 349.38 million in 2012.

"For the full year 2013, unit shipments declined 10 per cent from 2012, a record drop reflecting changes in mobility and personal computing affecting the market. While, commercial purchases helped to prevent a larger decline, the consumer side remained weak," IDC said.

IDC's  Worldwide PC Trackers Vice President Loren Loverde said total shipments have now declined for seven consecutive quarters and even the holiday shopping season was unable to inspire a turn in consumer spending.

"Although US growth slipped a little in fourth quarter, other regions all improved, reinforcing our view that growth rates will continue to improve gradually during 2014 despite remaining in negative territory," Loverde added.

On PC shipments in 2013, Gartner said: "This is the worst decline in PC market history, equal to the shipment level in 2009."

Gartner Principal Analyst Mikako Kitagawa said although PC shipments continued to decline in the worldwide market in the fourth quarter, the firm believes markets like the US have bottomed out as the adjustment to the installed base slows.

"We think that US PC market has bottomed out. A variety of new form factors, such as hybrid notebooks, drew holiday shoppers' attention, but the market size was very small at the time. Lowering the price point of thin and light products started encouraging the PC replacement and potentially some PC growth in 2014," Kitagawa added. PTI SR RNK MKJ jc RAH 01141247

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