A report by Gartner highlighting the worldwide PC shipment growth in the second quarter of 2012 has thrown up some disappointing numbers. The report states that worldwide PC shipments in the second quarter of 2012 reached a total of 87.5 million units, a decline of 0.1 percent from the same period in 2011. According to the report, HP continued to dominate worldwide PC shipments, accounting for 14.9 percent of the market. However, HP's global shipments declined 12.1 percent and the report cited the company's internal issues arising out of organisational changes to have triggered the decline. “HP’s PC business has not been back to pre re-structuring level yet. The company also faced aggressive pricing from Lenovo in the professional market, and threats from companies such as ASUS and Samsung in the already crowded consumer markets,” added the report.
Decline of 0.1 percent in PC shipments (Image credit: Getty Images)
Lenovo's shipments, according to Gartner's findings, have managed to keep moving beyond the worldwide average, thereby managing to narrow the shipment gap with HP. “Lenovo has been very aggressive to expand through a series of acquisitions as well as aggressive pricing. Lenovo’s aggressive expansion damaged its competitors' performance, namely HP and Dell, by taking shares from them. Lenovo showed significant growth in EMEA, though there is growing concern of the inventory build toward the second half of 2012,” the report added.
Acer too saw a rise in its shipments as compared to the figures it had a year ago. Acer also managed to 'clear its inventory issues', helping it to gear for growth. Interestingly, Gartner found that Acer has been among the first companies to have released Ultrabooks into the market, and will most likely be faster at lowering the prices of the Ultrabook than other vendors. “Acer has been also very actively promoting its media tablet products,” added the report.
Speaking of Dell, the report mentioned that the company has been “in a process of transforming itself from a PC supplier to solution provider for professional markets.” The report added, “Although Dell’s focus was not to pursue market share gain, Dell needs to maintain a certain level of market share. Dell showed year-on-year shipment decline across all regions, but EMEA and Asia/Pacific were particularly challenging markets.”
The report highlighted that ASUS displayed the “strongest growth among the top five vendors worldwide”. The company's shipments rose 38.6 percent in Q2 of 2012 and its strong growth came from the EMEA and U.S. markets. “ASUS did well at diversifying its product portfolio: starting with mini-notebook expansion, then quickly moving to the mid- to high-end notebook market.”
Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner added, “In the second quarter of 2012, the PC market suffered through its seventh consecutive quarter of flat to single-digit growth. Uncertainties in the economy in various regions, as well as consumers' low interest in PC purchases were some of the key influencers of slow PC shipment growth. Despite the high expectations for the thin and light notebook segment, Ultrabooks' shipment volume was small and had little impact on overall shipment growth.”
“Consumers are less interested in spending on PCs as there are other technology product and services, such as the latest smartphones and media tablets. This is more of a trend in the mature market as PCs are highly saturated in these markets. A big portion of R&D spending has been allocated to Ultrabook development, together with Intel’s massive investments to establish the market segment. Though the Ultrabook was at first introduced in the market in 2011, the major promotion kicked off toward the end of Q2 2012 with the IvyBridge-based Ultrabook release. This segment is still in an early adopter’s stage,” Kitagawa added.