Chromebooks, basic PCs buoyed computer shipments: IDC

Worldwide shipments of personal computers dropped slightly during the third quarter of 2014, but analyst firm International Data Corp. (IDC) said the slide was not as huge as expected partly because of the growth in consumer appetite for Chromebooks and entry-level PCs.

Manufacturer’s shipped 78.5 million desktops and laptops in Q3, representing a 1.7 per cent drop from shipments for the corresponding quarter last year, according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. However, that drop is still much lower than the 4.1 per cent drop the firm projected for the quarter.

In an earlier report in March, IDC said 2014 “will remain a challenging year for PC vendors in Asia” as a slower economic outlook cause consumers to prioritize their device purchases and political changes in countries such as India and, Indonesia and Thailand impact commercial spending.

Back then, IDC also predicted a slight improvement in shipments brought about “short-term factors” such as a small rise in PC replacement related to the migration from Windows XP.

During the third quarter of 2014, Chinese multinational computer company Lenovo Group Ltd., held onto its lead over Hewlett-Packard from a year ago. Lenovo shipped 15.7 million PCs, for the period to HP’s 14.7 million.

IDC said Lenovo accounted for 20 per cent of the worldwide market share for the third quarter up from last year’s 17.7 per cent.

Dell Inc. was a close third at 10.4 million. The Acer Group and Apple Inc. were No 4 and 5 respectively and Asus was No 6.

Acer’s shipments actually grew 11 per cent partly because of sales of Chromebooks and entry-level PCs.

Strong back-to-school sales and continued acceptance of Chromebooks as well as Windows XP and Windows 7 migrations and a slowdown of tablet sales, helped to prop up PC sales, according to Rajani Singh, senior research analyst for IDC.

“Moving forward, we expect a healthy holiday season, hence the U.S. PC market may maintain a positive growth rate, Singh said “However, low demand for large commercial refreshes, combined with competition from 2-in-1 systems, may limit the growth potential.”

There’s also another threat to PCs.

Last month, IDC said that shipments phablets, smart phones with screen sizes 5.5” to 7”, will reach 175 million by the end of 2014, topping by five million the number of tablets expected to be shipped for the year.


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Nestor Arellano
Nestor Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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