Worldwide PC shipments totaled 82.2 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013, representing a year-on-year contraction of -5.6%, according to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.
For the full year 2013, unit shipments declined -10.0% from 2012, a record drop reflecting the changes in mobility and personal computing affecting the market. While commercial purchases helped to prevent a larger decline, the consumer side remained weak, says IDC. Total shipments have now declined for seven consecutive quarters, and even the holiday shopping season was unable to inspire a turn in consumer spending.
In the United States, market leader HP had a difficult quarter, contracting -12.3% year on year as the market slowed following an HP surge in the third quarter. Asian majors like Lenovo and Samsung achieved strong double-digit growth, driven partly by a modest commercial uptick and partly due to retail acceptance of their emerging product categories, such as Chromebooks. Dell and Toshiba also managed mid single-digit growth, essentially coming from large corporate refreshes in the enterprise segment.
United States – With shipments totaling 17.1 million PCs in 4Q13, the U.S. market contracted by -1.6% from the same quarter a year ago. Consumers continued to take a wait-and-see approach, leading to delayed purchases. The migration from Windows XP to Windows 7 and 8 continued to drive some momentum in the enterprise sector and once again businesses fared better than consumers.
EMEA – The PC market in EMEA remained constrained in the final quarter of 2013. Demand in the commercial segment was supported by year-end budget spending, with end of support for Windows XP deals contributing to even stronger shipments in the last three months of the year. The consumer market remained much more depressed, with shipments remaining soft amid ongoing weakness in demand, as tablets continued to attract end users.
Japan – Volume was higher than expected, ending the fourth quarter with a jump in positive growth. Factors included continued progress in economic activity, favorable exchange rates, and Windows XP migration. Nevertheless, consumer shipments remained slow.
Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) – Market results were close to forecasts, despite some unexpected weak spots, including consumer spending in India as well as Thailand, where political turmoil adversely impacted the market more than initially expected.
Lenovo expanded its lead in total worldwide shipments with particularly strong growth in EMEA, Japan, and Latin America. Growth in the U.S. slowed, but remained ahead of other market leaders.
HP retained the number two position, but its channels took a more cautious approach in key markets, and shipments in the U.S. dropped by more than -12% year on year. Fourth quarter shipments were also down slightly from the third quarter, suggesting a clearing of inventory as well as slowing projects in Asia/Pacific.
Dell saw growth rise to 5.8% in 4Q13 compared to the previous year. The Americas continued to be a strong area for Dell, while shipments in Asia/Pacific also returned to positive growth.
[Image courtesy: IDC]