Shipments of personal computers have continued to decline
, according to market analyst firm Gartner
. Sales have declined in the fourth quarter in 2012 by 4.9-percent compared to the same period in 2011, with a combination of the weak global economy and the availability of cheap and accessible tablets reportedly to blame.
While not cannibalizing PC sales, tablets are forcing PC users "to shift consumption to tablets rather than replacing older PCs," according to principle analyst Mikako Kitagawa, suggesting that buyers will not replace secondary PCs, and instead "allowing them to age out and shifting consumption to a tablet." Creative and administrative tasks will be conducted on a shared PC in the future according to Kitagawa, who claims the PC will also be mid or high-performance machine instead of a slower, low budget system, suggesting that the average selling rice of PCs in the future will rise, despite overall sales lowering.
The launch of Windows 8
apparently did little to fourth-quarter PC shipments, with some analysts suggesting that Windows 8-specific PCs offered by manufacturers "missed the excitement of touch," something that is apparently being rectified with devices coming out this quarter with multitouch displays.
In terms of worldwide shipments, HP regained the top position, making 14.6 million shipments for the quarter and beating Lenovo by just 0.6 million units. Dell, in third place, managed to ship 9.2 million units and takes up 10.2-percent of the market, though this is almost a 21-percent drop in sales compared to the same quarter in 2011.
In US-specific sales, HP and Dell continue to dominate, at 26.2-percent and 19.2-percent of the market respectively. Apple, with 2.1 million sales and a 12.3-percent market share, saw a 5.4-percent growth in sales for the region. Overall for the region, total sales shrunk 2.1 percent compared to Q4 2011, at a total of 17.5 million computers shipped.
Global shipments for 2012 reached 352 million, a 3.5-percent decrease from last year's figures.