Worldwide PC shipments fall in Q3

New report says "back-to-school" quarter experienced lowest volume since 2008, as consumers shift toward tablets.

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Worldwide PC shipments numbered 80.3 million units in the third quarter of 2013, falling 8.6 percent year-over-year, according to a new report published by Garter Inc. this week. Worldwide PC hardware shipments have now fallen for six straight quarters.

"The third quarter is often referred to as the 'back-to-school' quarter for PC sales, and sales this quarter dropped to their lowest volume since 2008," said Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa.

Garter attributed the downturn in sales to a shift in consumer buying behavior from PCs to tablets in both mature and emerging markets. The greater availability of lower-cost Android tablets attracted first-time buyers in emerging markets, Kitagawa said, while these devices were purchased as supplementary devices in established markets.

Lenovo was the top performer during Q3, commanding 17.6 percent of the market, just a few percentage points stronger than HP's 17.1 percent share of the worldwide PC market.

In the US market, PC shipments totaled 16.1 million units during the quarter, an increase of 3.5 percent compared to last year.

"Tablets will continue to impact the PC market, but the U.S. PC market will see a more moderate decrease rather than a steep decline in the next two years," Kitigawa said.

The US market was the only region to show growth year-over-year. In Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), PC shipments fell 13.7 percent, Garter said, while the Asia/Pacific market saw PC shipments fall 11.2 percent to 28.1 million units.

Discussion

54 comments
666NightsInHell
666NightsInHell

If you use tablet from home then you dont have brains and you only understand how to check email etc means you are 70 years old or you are female, go learn.

jostriker
jostriker

What about people that build their PC like gamers don't forget about that. But for school i will get a surface tablet over a laptop any day.

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

In the past people thought that the PC was the new pet rock. Then more programs, the internet,... started to evolve.  

The tablet is evolving, many people do not need the PC to do homework, type a letter, surf the net...  It can all be done on a tablet. Tablets, can cost less one generation behind. Soon tablets will not evolve so fast and more people will fell fine picking up one over a PC. 

Its evolution, people will use what they believe is useful and if a tablet can do what a PC is doing for them (the basics) then they will move to the tablet. 

There is no need to bash people for getting what they want. 

gamingfriendly
gamingfriendly

No shit maybe people learned how to build there own PC that suits there needs instead of pre assembled shit?

Creed02
Creed02

Great. PC industry will be left with only enthusiastic people.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

I suddenly feel I'm losing the will to live. Tablets are terrible. They will a gap in the market that never needed to be filled. Totally and utterly pointless. I mean I've only just upgraded to a phone that can be regarded as a "smartphone" and I have had nothing but tedious grief for the last three days.

Hurvl
Hurvl

I'm gonna hold onto my 2-year-old gaming laptop for the next three years, so don't count me improving these numbers :P. Five years with a laptop might seem much, but you haven't seen my backlog. I've got *more* than five years to catch up on, due to my enjoyment of old games.

Jd1680a
Jd1680a

Garter is watching the sales of large prebuilt companies like HP and Dell. They aren't watching for the sales of independent builders like Digital Storm and Avadirect, nor they arent watching the sales of hardware from Newegg for people who are upgrading or building their own system.

IGN made a report that gaming PCs is worth $20 billion and growing. Falcon NW and Maingear sales are increasing, the top selling video card is the Titan.

ramyland
ramyland

wtf buys pc brand....only nerds !....majority of gamers buy piece by piece and put them together!...so the statistics are irelevant !

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

Lenovo suck, and you never get what you exactly want with a pre-built PC anyway.

bouchart
bouchart

This doesn't differentiate between PCs sold to individuals and PCs sold to businesses, so I wouldn't generalize about PC gaming from this.

normanislost
normanislost

Who wants to buy a new prebuilt PC when it comes with windows 8?

LalchandTudu
LalchandTudu

With due respect to everyone....PC gamers don't buy PC as a whole they make their PC by assembling different components as per their requirements. The people who just need for basic purpose will buy a PC as a whole. Everyone of us know that in every house there is a gamer so it is obvious isn't it? So it is a fact that PC sales will fall. But if you see at the sale figures of the individual PC components that are being sold. hen you will be surprised to see the numbers. It is almost 5 times that of the number of PC that are being sold as a whole.

So the rest is up to you all. PC gaming is not dying nor the console gaming. The difference is that console gaming takes a linear path to evolve. (That is the entire hardware is to be manufactured as a whole). whereas the PC gaming evolves in a branched way (That is the individual components can be upgraded or the entire system as a whole).

It is a humble request to the game developers, don't get eluded by the number of sales of the PC. But do look at the number of PC components sold. Then you will see what i actually mean.

LoganDaDestroya
LoganDaDestroya

I wander if shipments of PC components is taken into consideration here? I've gotten the impression that more and more people have taken to building their own machines rather than buy full ones.

rarson
rarson

Yeah, PC sales are going down as tablet sales are going up. However, I suspect we'll see PC sales begin to even out or possibly even increase in the next few years.

While people are starting to buy more tablets, they aren't using them for the same thing as they're using their PCs for. The tablet is replacing the PC device as a casual entertainment device, but for actual productivity purposes, even those detachable keyboards (an incredibly dumb idea, by the way) don't match the control and comfort of even the cheapest laptops.

And speaking of cheap, you can buy laptops for the same price as a decent tablet, or sometimes even less, and it'll have significantly more power than the tablet. And a keyboard. And a touchpad. And USB ports. Tablets have their place, sure, but so do PCs, and I think we'll see that consumers start to realize this over time.

Tablets are easier to break, too, and more expensive to fix. If you break a screen on a tablet, chances are you might as well buy yourself a new one unless you're capable of fixing it yourself. Tablets are largely disposable devices in the sense that they're not really meant to be repaired.

And they also don't last as long as laptops, either. Tablets and phones are yearly or bi-yearly devices. New ones are released all the time. Perhaps once the platforms mature more, we'll see the pace settle down a bit, but right now technology is advancing to the point that it's become expensive to keep up. I just replaced my Galaxy S phone, which I held onto for over 2 years (and it wasn't even new when I bought it), but it would have been unbearably slow without a custom rom. Laptops, on the other hand, have reached the point where even a low-power model has quite the abundance of power, and can easily last for 4 years or more. A laptop is also upgradeable (assuming you don't buy a POS ultrabook or something similar), which means that even if it starts to feel slow, you can make it decently faster with a small investment.

It seems like majority of tablets that people are buying now are ultra-cheap no-name devices that sell for $99 or less. At least they're the most common that I come across when people inquire about fixing them. All the above goes double for these tablets: they're cheap, slow, non-repairable, disposable, and only good for light entertainment purposes. For me to even crack it apart to take a look at it is half the price of the tablet itself.

The question is whether those ultra-cheap devices are good enough for people to continue buying them on a regular basis. Personally, I don't think they are good enough to buy even once, but most people seem to like them for whatever reason. I don't actually need a tablet, because I have my phone, and a laptop for everything else (and a desktop for gaming and TV viewing). A laptop is just far more versatile than a tablet and lasts longer for the same or less money.

JamisonJB
JamisonJB

As long as PC gaming or the hardware market doesn't suffer, I don't really care. Just hope that publishers don't use this as a excuse to forego the PC platform.

Riddick123
Riddick123

Is this article accounting for how many people build their own PCs now?

cousinmerl
cousinmerl

I'm just going to say this now - windows 8 completely failed to sell new PC's... In fact I'm pretty sure allot of people turned  to apple products because of it.

randomkidlol
randomkidlol

to be expected due to rise of tablets and smartphones.

sorintitus
sorintitus

Should we expect a drop in PC hardware prices as well for the next year? It would be the natural outcome, wouldn't it? 

wexorian
wexorian

There;s differene between gaming and normall pc notebook, ofc Tablets are bought by ppl who are not gamers mostly.

zinten
zinten

You guys need to check the number for discrete gpu sales, that is actually going up. So it seems that people realized that it was easy to make or upgrade their own pc instead of buying new expensive premade pc.

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

PCs are not needed for the majority of people. What do they use PC for?  In addition many programs will move to tables as that is where their customers are. 

Also, tablets are becoming more powerful by leaps and bounds, only limited by the power they consume.  There only needs to be a new more powerful battery and Tablets will just take over.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

The tech companies realize this is THEIR fault, right? They pushed and pushed and pushed mobile computing and tablets because that's where they wanted the market to go. Is it a surprise people fell for their bullshit?

iampenguin
iampenguin

PC gaming is not going to replace consoles if it's declining year on year whilst console continue in increase year on year.

Scorpion1813
Scorpion1813

@Ravenlore_basic  

That's true, however, the less people that buy PC's means that PC's will start loosing support from software companies, including Operating Systems like Windows (which is already leaning towards tablets and phones). This also means PC gaming will decline in popularity and the PC Master Race will become an endangers species.

I seriously believe this is the downfall of PC gaming. Which sucks because there are whole genres of games that require PC's.

LucentWolf
LucentWolf

@Jd1680a Don't forget Amazon. I built my PC entirely off of Amazon. They never count hardware.

J_Dangerously
J_Dangerously

@ramyland I used to be a rig builder, but after having a motherboard short out in the first month, it only took a single nightmare experience with Asus' support in an attempt to get my mobo replaced to convince me that I would rather deal with a known brand's customer service any day of the week.

In the end, I had to pay for a second Mobo out of my own pocket.  Add that to the $100 I had to pay for a Windows XP OEM (XP was current when all this happened), and I would've been better off calling Falcon NW or some other such gaming rig company.

Raymond11
Raymond11

@The-Neon-Seal Lenovo is much better now that previous year they really improve my only problem is the design of PC or laptop.

JamisonJB
JamisonJB

@The-Neon-Seal Preaching to the choir. With that said, can the hardware market sustain it's self through PC system builders? As the causal people go with tablets and any other trendy crap that is brought on, what, if anything will happen to our DIY market?

JamisonJB
JamisonJB

@bouchart With that said, I wonder how many IT departments are going to embrace the modern UI (Server 2012, Win 8 (8.1), Win 9,etc.) 

Psycold
Psycold

@LalchandTudu You are correct with the exception of laptops, I've built plenty of PC's but I can't build a laptop. This article should just say how laptop sales fall in Q3, because PC gaming hardware is doing very well at the moment and shows no sign of letting up. 

rarson
rarson

@cousinmerl  

I think Microsoft going after the tablet market was a misstep. Combining the two OSes into one doesn't make much sense, especially in light of the fact that Windows 8 and Windows RT are still two separate operating systems. The Metro UI does work fine on a laptop, but it's inclusion is questionable given that it's so heavily touch-based, and half of the laptops being sold today don't have touch screens. But the main problem is that people see the interface and pass judgement on the operating system before they've even bothered to try using it. Word of mouth has spread about how horrible the interface is (even though it really isn't), and people are shying away from buying Windows 8 PCs, not based on any actual user feedback or personal experience, but because they've heard a bunch of people talking about how much it sucks. All because the interface looks different.

JamisonJB
JamisonJB

@cousinmerl I'm not impressed with windows 8. I mean, if they want to get a sku on tablets, then cool. But least create two skus, let the product key determine the sku and run it through WIM. Unfortunately, from rumors I see about Win 9 and 10; windows 7 may be the last Microsoft OS I buy. 

hystavito
hystavito

@sorintitus Initially you might see some drops as they try to dump stock, but in the long run this means higher prices for PC hardware, and less selection.

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

@iampenguin 

PC and Consoles are in decline, but PC software (games) continue to increase...

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@iampenguin PC Gaming isn't declining. There is no data to show that. What's declining is sales of pre-packaged PCs. Gamers don't buy gaming computers, they build them. When they do buy them, they don't go out again and buy new ones. PC sales have no relevance to PC gaming because the very point of PC gaming is keeping your computer.

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

@iampenguin @The-Neon-Seal That said, I don't think the casual market should ever be relied upon as they only ever offer a 'temporary bonus' if you catch my drift. As soon as the next shiny object is released they'll leave you so you might as well cater to those who give you loyalty. Unfortunaly... that isn't the case in the gaming industry.

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

@JamisonJB @The-Neon-Seal I'm under the impression that the custom market is doing very well. Even the casuals know the benefits of a custom Rig and most have a friend/member of the family who can build one for them.

rarson
rarson

@Psycold

Tablet sales should be impacting laptop sales more than desktop sales by default though, because most people have started to assume that a tablet is a replacement for a laptop (which it definitely is not).

rarson
rarson

@JamisonJB

Windows 8 is actually better than Windows 7. It's faster, and it's got some useful features. 8.1 corrects pretty much all the gripes of the original 8 release, which really aren't that many to begin with. There are only a couple of things which still bug me about 8, and those are almost entirely things which average users don't deal with on a regular basis.

It amazes me how bloated 7 has already become. Don't get me wrong, it's a great operating system and easily the best one up until now, and the user interface is a huge positive over 8 for people who are familiar with Windows, but the operating system is definitely showing it's age.

I still hear people claim that XP is the greatest OS ever. I want to punch them in the face every time I have to repair an XP operating system. The attitude towards 8 versus 7 seems to be the same as it was towards 7 versus XP, the same as it was towards XP versus 98, etc. Everyone hates the new thing until they get used to it. If you take the time to familiarize yourself with 8 (which you have to do with any new operating system), then you'll see it's actually a pretty good OS. Windows 8 isn't anything nearly as bad as Vista or ME when those were released.

iampenguin
iampenguin

@Grenadeh I see your point but done't a quicker adoption of console gaming mean that pc gaming will become smaller and smaller? As potential PC gamers will be on console?

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

@jer_1 When I did a work placement for a sub-department of PC World, I had too many bad experiences with Lenovo's. One tried to kill me (sure I hadn't altered the wattage, but nobody ever told me I had to check, and with most you don't!) and a laptop I was working on got caught in a infinite loop of boot checks and the guys had to just bin the thing. DoA.

jer_1
jer_1

@The-Neon-Seal @JamisonJB

I bought a lenovo laptop from Lenovo (Y580) and it's actually a damn good little lappy. Hasn't failed me yet, and it even plays Arma3 at an acceptable rate, which is a bit surprising, though not close to as well as my desktop. Given the chance, I would recommend building your own of course, but prebuilts can be a benefit when you consider the warranty and promise that they have to foot the bill for any kind of failure. 

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

@rarson @Psycold Current Tablets are only an extention of your PC/Laptop at the moment, but I'd rather have a Tablet than a Laptop.

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

@rarson @JamisonJB I've used 8 and I hate it. I loved XP; I think it was awesome and have used it for most of it's life cycle, but with the end of support next year, I moved on to 7... and I love 7 equally if not more... 7 is the new XP! 8 is aweful, MS need to get there act together and learn that if it isn't broken, don't fix it.

Thank you ladies and gentlemen and good night!