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.

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"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.

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