PC Shipments Continue to Sink, Asian Brands Rising

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By Erik Pineda | October 11, 2012 1:26 PM EST

IDC and Gartner were in agreement that buyers were less inclined to upgrade their traditional PC tools, leading to more than eight per cent slide in shipments for all PC brands in the last quarter when compared to the same period in 2011.

But the two analytic firms disagreed on which PC maker is the top-seller as third quarter of 2012. Gartner said Lenovo Group of China has toppled perennial PC king Hewlett-Packard with a global market share of 15.7 per cent or a total of 13.77 million units shipped out in the quarter.

HP, on the other hand, pushed out 13.55 million units in the three months ending in September, allowing the firm to lock in on the second spot of global PC dominance with a market share of 15.5 per cent.

IDC, however, has a different story. It affirmed that Lenovo now enjoys a 15.7 per cent market share for its total shipment of 13.8 million PCs last quarter but HP, as per the research firm's data, was able to clear out 13.9 million PCs from its stocks.

The U.S.-based PC maker, therefore, remains the number one manufacturer for the recently concluded quarter, at least, precariously holding on to a market pie of 15.9 per cent.

While contradicting a bit, the new PC reports clearly indicated that sales of desktop and laptop computers continue to decline in alarming fashion, with IDC cautioning that "PCs are going through a severe slump."

The usual culprit blamed for waning consumers' interest on PCs, analysts said, is the current fixation to mobile devices, which deliver the same computing muscles that can be squeezed out from old PCs, with the added mobility and cool form factor.

Media report also cited the uncertain economic environment that prods would-be buyers, both corporate and the public, to hold off their purchasing plans plus the prevailing attitude among retailer, which tend not to overstock their inventories.

Analysts also pointed to the upcoming Windows 8 release from Microsoft, which has been widely touted as likely the reinvigorating factor that the PC market needs. Its Oct 26 release, pundits said, may have prompted for a lull in PC buying, which should explain the weak quarter and the generally disappointing sales pace of PCs.

Some experts suggested too that pricing hampered PCs ability to compete with mobile devices, proof of which is the lukewarm acceptance to ultrabooks that were being retailed beyond the $1000 mark.

The same issue, on one hand, was used to their advantages by vendors like Lenovo, Acer and Asus but in contradictory manner - these brands have been price aggressively, meaning with lower sticker price per unit, and reaped the benefits in the process.

Both data from Gartner and IDC, according to The Associated Press (AP), showed that Asian PC brands were slowly chipping away market shares from the once mighty U.S. PC brand names.

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