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Gartner: Worldwide PC shipments declined 1.7 percent

PC-monitor-graphWorldwide PC shipments totalled 76.6 million units in the first quarter of 2014, a 1.7 percent decline from the first quarter of 2013, according to preliminary results by Gartner.

The severity of the decline eased compared with the past seven quarters.

“The end of XP support by Microsoft on 8th April has played a role in the easing decline of PC shipments,” said Mikako Kitagawa, Principal Analyst, Gartner. “All regions indicated a positive effect since the end of XP support stimulated the PC refresh of XP systems. Professional desktops, in particular, showed strength in the quarter. Among key countries, Japan was greatly affected by the end of XP support, registering a 35 percent year-over-year increase in PC shipments. The growth was also boosted by sales tax change. We expect the impact of XP migration worldwide to continue throughout 2014.”

“While the PC market remains weak, it is showing signs of improvement compared to last year. The PC professional market generally improved in regions such as EMEA. The U.S. saw the gradual recovery of PC spending as the impact of tablets faded.” Kitagawa said.

The PC market continued to be tough for many vendors. Economies of scale is forcing vendors such as Sony out of the market. In contrast, all of the top five vendors, except Acer, registered year-over-year shipment growth.

Lenovo experienced the strongest growth among the top five vendors. Its shipments grew 10.9 percent, and Lenovo extended its position as the worldwide leader. The company’s shipments grew in all regions except Asia/Pacific, where growth in China has been problematic. Overall, the China market again slowed, in part due to the long holiday in the middle of the quarter.

The share difference between Dell and HP once again narrowed compared to last quarter. In the first quarter of 2014, HP achieved its fastest shipment growth of the last two years. HP’s shipment growth in EMEA well exceeded the regional average, which improved HP’s overall growth. Dell maintained a strong position in the market. Since the completion of the leverage buyout last year, Dell has been aggressively expanding its PC business throughout the regions. The first quarter of 2014 was the third consecutive quarter of PC shipment growth for Dell, registering its highest growth since the fourth quarter of 2011.

The EMEA PC market saw positive growth after eight quarters of decline. Shipments in EMEA totalled 22.9 million units in the first quarter of 2014, a 0.3 percent increase from the same period last year. Improvements were driven by a PC refresh in the professional market from both the XP effect, and a general increase in professional spending.

“The end of support for Windows XP has boosted commercial desktop sales, driven in part by delayed government buying in major Western European countries,” said Isabelle Durand, Principal Research Analyst, Gartner. “The professional PC market looks stronger overall, as business and governments adjust to a more favourable economic environment. We also expect to see the impact of XP migration to continue throughout 2014.”

HP retained the top vendor position in the EMEA market, and its shipments grew 15.3 percent in the first quarter of 2014. Lenovo has now had seven consecutive quarters of strong growth, which helped it cement the No. 2 spot in EMEA with 36 percent growth in the first quarter of 2014. It also saw its presence in the consumer PC market increase. Asus performed well and currently leads the hybrid market.

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