A report released by Gardner on worldwide PC shipments revealed a 1.7 per cent decline in the first quarter of 2014, with ease however, when compared alongside the last seven quarters.
The report estimated the total number of global PC shipment at 76.6 units.
A principal analyst at Gardner, Mikako Kitagawa, blamed the decline on the stoppage of XP support by Microsoft.
“All regions indicated a positive effect since the end of XP support stimulated the PC refresh of XP systems. Professional desktops, in particular, showed strength in the quarter. Among key countries, Japan was greatly affected by the end of XP support, registering a 35 per cent year-over-year increase in PC shipments. The growth was also boosted by sales tax change. We expect the impact of XP migration worldwide to continue throughout 2014,” he said.
“While the PC market remains weak, it is showing signs of improvement compared to last year. The PC professional market generally improved in regions such as EMEA. The US saw the gradual recovery of PC spending as the impact of tablets faded,” Ms Kitagawa added.
The PC market continued to be tough for many vendors. Economies of scale matter tremendously in this high-volume, low-profit market, which is forcing some vendors, such as Sony, out of the market. In contrast, all of the top five vendors, except Acer, registered year-over-year shipment growth.
The top thee vendors — Lenovo, HP and Dell — have all confirmed the importance of the PC business as part of their overall business strategies.
Lenovo experienced the strongest growth among the top five vendors. Its shipments grew 10.9 per cent, and Lenovo extended its position as the worldwide leader. The company’s shipments grew in all regions except Asia/Pacific, where growth in China has been problematic. Overall, the China market slowed again, in part due to the long holiday in the middle of the quarter.
The share difference between Dell and HP once again narrowed compared to last quarter. In the first quarter of 2014, HP achieved its fastest shipment growth of the last two years. HP’s shipment growth in EMEA well exceeded the regional average, which improved HP’s overall growth. Dell maintained a strong position in the market. Since the completion of the leverage buyout last year, Dell has been aggressively expanding its PC business throughout the regions.
The first quarter of 2014 was the third consecutive quarter of PC shipment growth for Dell, registering its highest growth since the fourth quarter of 2011.