Tablets blamed for steepest PC market decline in history

PC shipments plummet 10 percent in 2013; Lenovo takes over lead from HP

Growth in tablet sales, particularly in emerging markets, has led to the worst decline in PC market history, according to the latest stats from Gartner.

PC shipments plummeted 10 percent in 2013, totaling 315.9 million units compared with 351.1 million units in 2012. Gartner's PC figures include both desktop-based PCs and mobile PCs, such as notebooks.

"Strong growth in tablets continued to negatively impact PC growth in emerging markets. In emerging markets, the first connected device for consumers is most likely a smartphone, and their first computing device is a tablet. As a result, the adoption of PCs in emerging markets will be slower as consumers skip PCs for tablets," says Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

Lenovo took over the top spot in the world PC market from HP in 2013. Lenovo posted a 16.9 percent market share, while HP grabbed a 16.2 percent market share, followed by Dell at 11.6 percent.

"Holiday sales of technology products were strong in the U.S. market, but consumer spending during the holidays did not come back to PCs as tablets were one of the hottest holiday items," says Kitagawa.

"We think that the U.S. 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," she adds.

For more:
- see Gartner's release

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