Worldwide PC sales down almost 7 percent since last year, report shows

Personal computer shipments in the last quarter of 2013 showed the worst annual decline in the market’s history, according to a new Gartner report.

Global shipments reached 82.6 million units this year, between desktop PCs and notebook computers. This is the seventh consecutive quarter of shipment decline, and represents a 6.9 percent decline from one year ago.

“Strong growth in tablets continued to negatively impact PC growth in emerging markets,” Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa said in a statement. “In emerging markets, the first connected device for consumers is most likely a smartphone, and their first computing device is a tablet. As a result, the adoption of PCs in emerging markets will be slower as consumers skip PCs for tablets.”

Despite the market decline, “we increasingly believe markets, such as the U.S., have bottomed out as the adjustment to the installed base slows,” she said.

In the United States, PC shipments totaled 15.8 million units this quarter, a 7.5 percent decline since last year. Hewlett-Packard led shipments in the United States, accounting for about a quarter of the market, despite a 10.3 percent decline in shipment since last year.

Lenovo led the global PC market with an 18.1 percent share of the market, up 6.6 percent since last year, Gartner calculated. The company showed growth in all regions except China.

Mohana Ravindranath covers IT and small business for the Washington Post and its weekly Capital Business publication.
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