THE DEMISE of Microsoft's Windows XP support has given a PC and notebook shipments a much-needed boost, Canalys reported, but Apple continues to dominate the market.
While research firm Canalys included both tablet and PC shipments in its figures, the firm reported on Thursday that PC sales were up five percent year on year, with shipments reaching 123.7 million in the first quarter of 2014.
This slight boost can be credited to the end of Windows XP support, with the research firm saying, "Commercial shipments the world over have been lifted by the end of life of Windows XP, a trend that also influenced desktops, helping shipments to remain flat year on year."
It's not all good news for the flailing PC market, however, as Canalys noted that tablet computers continued to outsell notebooks during the quarter, accounting for 41 percent of the market compared to 38 percent. While PCs saw five percent sales growth, the tablet market saw 21 percent growth during the three month period ending March, although this is a sharp decline from the 65 percent growth it saw last quarter.
However, tablet sales are likely to slow going forward, Canalys said. This can already be seen in the case of Apple, which despite leading the combined global PC and tablet market, saw iPad shipments dip 16 percent worldwide, and 40 percent in the US, during the first quarter,
Canalys senior analyst Tim Coulling said, "The fall in iPad shipments in Q1 was the sharpest ever. Apple took action during the quarter to run down its iPad inventory, a smart move as tablet stock in the channel rose due to strong seasonal shipments in the previous quarter."
Despite this, the research outfit expects Apple to continue to dominate the tablet and PC market for the time being, at least, adding, "Apple's ecosystem and the recent launch of Office for iPad should ensure it is well placed to remain a leader for some time."
It faces some tough competition from Lenovo, though, which increased its PC market share from 10 to 12 percent in the first quarter, with 15 million units shipped.
James Wang, an analyst at the market research firm, said, "Lenovo was quick to move with new form factors and its Yoga line now dominates the global convertible notebook market.
"Unlike Apple, with its 'one size fits all' tablet strategy, Lenovo and others are free to tailor tablets to specific market segments," he added.
Samsung didn't have such a bumper quarter, however, with Canalys noting that the firm's PC shipments suffered during the three month period, with the firm dropping from third to fourth place in global shipments. µ
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