Is it any wonder that there are rumors of CEO after CEO turning down the top-job at Microsoft? As Gartner just announced, the 2013 "back-to-school" sales quarter experienced its lowest PC volume since 2008. Excuses are myriad - from inventory channel delays, currency volatility, and operating system upgrades - but the bottom-line is that "cheaper Android-based tablets attracted first-time consumers," and the PC slide continues to its sixth consecutive decline in worldwide shipments.
Worldwide PC shipments totaled 80.3 million units in the third quarter of 2013, an 8.6 percent decline from the same period last year, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc.
This marks the sixth consecutive quarter of declining worldwide shipments.
"The third quarter is often referred to as the 'back-to-school' quarter for PC sales, and sales this quarter dropped to their lowest volume since 2008," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "Consumers' shift from PCs to tablets for daily content consumption continued to decrease the installed base of PCs both in mature as well as in emerging markets. A greater availability of inexpensive Android tablets attracted first-time consumers in emerging markets, and as supplementary devices in mature markets."
HP and Lenovo have been virtually neck and neck for the top global position in the PC market. Lenovo took the lead, as it did last quarter, but the upcoming holiday sales season will be a key battlefield for both companies. Lenovo accounted for 17.6 percent of global PC shipments in the third quarter, and HP had 17.1 percent of shipments, according to preliminary results.
Weakness in the Chinese market continued to affect Lenovo's overall growth. However, strong growth in the Americas, as well as EMEA, offset the declining PC shipments for Lenovo in the Asia/Pacific market. HP recorded positive shipment growth in 3Q13 for the first time since 1Q12. With the exception of Latin America, HP's growth exceeded the average growth across all regions.