desktop pc Credit: Intel/Flickr

The decline of PC sales continues, with data from IDC showing the largest drop in shipments since data has been first tracked. The fact that Windows 8 has started shipping with PCs didn’t seem to be of too much help, either.

Worldwide PC shipments have been, according to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, at 76.3 million units, a decrease of 13.9 percent compared to the same time last year, and worse than the predicted forecast (which was at 7.7 percent).

Gartner preliminary results (final data should be available soon) say that 79.2 million units have been shipped, mentioning an 11.2 percent decline compared to the same time last year.

In terms of manufacturers leading in terms of PC shipments worldwide, both studies tend to agree – HP is still leading the market, with 15.7 percent market share in the IDC data, down from 17.7 percent for the same time last year (14.8 percent, down from 17.2 percent,  in Gartner data). HP has shipped 11.9 million units (down from 15.7 million in last year’s first quarter) – 11.6 million, a drop from 15.3 million in Gartner data.

Lenovo maintains figures

Lenovo, on the other hand, has experienced growth in terms of market share, and is in second position, very close to HP, with a market share of 15.3 percent, up from 13.2 percent, in IDC data, and 14.7 percent, up from 13.1 in Gartner data. In terms of shipments, Lenovo has sent out 11.700.000 units, as compared to 11.705.000 in last year’s first quarter, according to IDC, and 11.666.000 units in this year’s first quarter, versus 11.652.000 in last year’s first quarter (Gartner data).

Dell was third, with a market share of 11.8 percent, down from 11.4 percent (last year’s first quarter, according to IDC); Gartner data says Dell has maintained an 11 percent market share, the same as the one in last year’s first quarter. Dell has shipped, according to IDC, 9.01 million units, compared to 10.1 in last year’s first quarter, and 8.7 million units versus 9.8 during last year’s first quarter, according to Gartner’s preliminary data.

Acer Group and ASUS are in fourth and fifth position in both studies. The IDC graph below shows year on year growth rates up to this quarter.

Year on year pc sales IDC data

Both studies include desktop and mobile PCs, as well as mini-notebooks, but not tablets. An interesting observation is that the professional PC area has actually grown, the reason being equipment refreshing, according to Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

Who’s to blame?

Windows 8 didn’t help the lagging PC business, as touchscreen PCs running it were only a small fraction of the units that were shipped, with consumers not prepared to pay more to get the extra functionality, according to Isabelle Durand, Gartner principal research analyst.

Bob O’Donell from IDC said that the Windows 8 launch didn’t provide the expected boost, appearing to have slowed the market. He added that, while some consumers appreciate what the new OS brings to the table, the lack of the Start button, as well as the cost of making touchscreen devices have made PCs less appealing to customers than other devices, such as tablets.

This conclusion can only be positive for Android, as the IDC Smart Connected Device Tracker was predicting a decline in PC sales in favor of tablets not long ago.

What do you think? Will the PC eventually disappear completely, will it remain nothing more than a professional tool, or will it see a comeback?

Bogdan Bele
Bogdan is a tech writer and blogger, passionate about everything mobile in general and Android in particular. When he's not writing about technology or playing with various gadgets (which he's doing most of the time), he enjoys listening to a lot of music and reading.
  • Jelly Bean

    You might want to break the bad news to Mike:

  • AndroidShiz

    The “PC” may bounce back if Android can make inroads. If that happened though you couldn’t necessarily call it a comeback, since it’s been here for years, it’d rock the PC world by going against its peers and putting others OS in fear. Investors of the old PC, probably would distress- have tears rain down like a monsoon, while investors of the new Android PC would have their investments explode like BOOM! Explosion, overpowering over the competition. At that point towering, wrecking shop as you will. I’m sure MSoft will whine though, force an legal investigation as their sales drop, wanting a raid, make them call the cops. But Google will probably say you shouldn’t have blinked, because we just stared, we told you that you better move. Now, like your WinPhone, you don’t even compare. To the other OS, if they don’t move they’ll get sliced and diced. Essentially competition will be paying the price. Google in conjunction with Manufacturers Always Moving Ahead, also known as MAMA, will probably knock them out.

  • another ‘pc is dead’ article. pc is production + consumption device. i guess most who own tablet also own pc. secondly pc don’t get rapid changes and hardware of desktop pc can be manually upgraded without buying whole new device. till date tablet is not as powerful to fully replace pc.

  • Stephen Fronda

    Honestly. For me, it has nothing to do with Mobile Devices. It has nothing to do with Windows 8 — I actually like it, once you get over the learning curve.

    For me, the reason I haven’t invested in a PC is because it’s too expensive. Why shell out $1600 for a laptop that has terrible battery life and barely better (if at all) specs than my PC I built for $900?

    It’s the PC industry itself – Not just Microsoft and not thanks to these amazing devices we carry around everywhere – that’s to blame. They’re not listening to their consumers, sales suck as a result.

  • Magnetic1

    I think the PC industry has been held back by the closed system of intel/amd and microsoft. And the fact that the programmable hardware on pcs make for an easy target for hackers to load wireless remote controls. Most motherboards come with chipsets and built-in ethernet that can not be repaced easily without desoldering. And when these devices come with programmable hardware, we got problems.

  • flavio

    DIE MS DIE!!! we don’t need to buy your trash anymore, and will never need windows garbage again.