COMPUTER MAKERS HP and Acer have lead the worst quarter ever for PC sales according to IT industry tracking firm International Data Corporation (IDC), which said shipments worldwide plunged by 14 percent in the first quarter.
While HP saw a decline in worldwide PC shipments of 23.7 percent, Acer saw the largest drop amongst major PC vendors of 31.3 percent year-on-year in the first quarter. The two firms also lead declines in market share, with both firms' stakes falling by two percent year-on-year, HP to 15.7 percent, and Acer to 8.1 percent.
IDC said the huge decrease in PC sales was attributable to the increasing demand for tablets and widespread consumer distaste for Microsoft's latest Windows 8 PC operating system (OS).
"Despite some mild improvement in the economic environment and some new PC models offering Windows 8, PC shipments were down significantly across all regions compared to a year ago," IDC's report said.
"Fading Mini Notebook shipments have taken a big chunk out of the low-end market while tablets and smartphones continue to divert consumer spending."
However, in the US Mac computer designer Apple saw market share growth in the US, from 9.4 percent to 10 percent, while Chinese PC maker Lenovo saw the biggest boost in market share from 6.9 percent to 9 percent.
The decline in PC sales is the steepest since IDC began recording worldwide PC sales numbers in 1994, dropping 13.9 percent to 76.3 million units in the first quarter, almost double the original forecast of a 7.7 percent decrease. The results also marked the fourth consecutive quarter of year-on-year PC shipment declines.
Nevertheless, in terms of units sold so far, HP was the best of a bad bunch, shipping 15.7 million units. Lenovo came in as a close second, shipping 11.7 million units and demonstrating flat growth in sales due to its "solid attack strategy", IDC said.
Dell, Acer and Asus came up third, fourth and fifth top sellers, shifting 9 million, 6.1 million and 4.3 million units, respectively.
IDC said that PC sales were also hampered by traditional barriers such as price and component supply, as well as the weak reception for Windows 8. According to IDC, Microsoft's most recent OS deterred potential PC buyers, as they decided they could not afford touchscreen models required to make the most of Windows 8, even though the OS also runs on standard PCs and laptops. µ