THE GLOBAL PC MARKET took a turn for the worse in 2013 after a somewhat bumpy ride the past few years, with shipments falling 10 percent over the last 12 months.
Analyst outfit Gartner revealed in its fourth quarter 2013 preliminary worldwide PC report that a total of 316 million PCs were shipped 2013, down 10 percent from the same quarter the previous year.
"Sales were equal to 2009's shipment levels, but the rate of decline was the worst on record," the research firm said.
Taiwanese firm Acer took the brunt of the PC sales decline out of the top five sellers, with a 28 percent drop. It's Taiwanese rival Asus was the next top five PC vendor to suffer a severe drop in PC shipments with an 18 percent decline year over year.
Dell and Lenovo were the only PC manufacturers to achieve positive PC shipment figures in 2013, showing 2.2 percent and 2.1 percent growth, respectively.
The fourth quarter was the seventh quarter in a row that PC shipments fell, with sales dipping to 82.6 million units, a drop of 6.9 percent from the 88.7 million PCs that were sold in the same period in 2012.
Lenovo remained the top PC seller worldwide in the fourth quarter with 14.9 million shipments, a 6.6 percent increase from 2012. HP remained in second place with 13.6 million shipments in the fourth quarter and 16.4 percent market share, but HP's sales fell 7.2 percent from a year ago.
However, Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa remained optimistic despite the decline in shipments. "Although PC shipments continued to decline in the worldwide market in the fourth quarter, we increasingly believe markets, such as the US, have bottomed out as the adjustment to the installed base slows," said Kitagawa.
Gartner's analysis included desktop and portable PCs, including small notebooks and netbooks but not media tablets such as the iPad. µ