Decline in worldwide PC shipments may be stabilizing

New data on worldwide PC shipments from research firm IDC Corp. shows another quarterly decline, but the good news is the decline is not as large as in recent quarters.

According to IDC, worldwide PC shipments for the second quarter of 2014 totalled 74.4 million, which is a year-on-year decline of 1.7 per cent. According to IDC, that’s actually the smallest quarterly decline in PC shipments since 2012, when the market was disrupted by a sharp decline in mini notebook shipments and the rise of the tablet.

A return in consumer interest and businesses continuing to refresh their older PCs contributed to the numbers, said IDC, and led to a shipment decline substantially better than the 7.1 per cent IDC had initially been projecting. Businesses appear to be continuing with migrations from Windows XP with an accompanying hardware upgrades, particularly of desktops, and the low-end consumer market is showing strength as well.

Canada, along with Europe and the U.S., was singled-out by IDC for showing the strongest growth on a geographic basis.

“The recent strength in mature regions is a positive sign,” said Loren Loverde, vice-president, worldwide PC trackers with IDC, in a statement. “However, an important part of this strength is driven by the rebound from weaker demand last year and to potentially short-term replacement activity. We can look for some recovery in emerging regions going forward, but it may coincide with slower growth in mature regions. We do not see the recent gains as a motive to raise the long-term outlook although 2014 growth could get closer to flat, rather than the May projection of -6%.”


On the vendor leaderboard, Lenovo padded its lead and grew its market share to 19.6 per cent, up from 16.7 per cent in the same quarter one year ago. HP has a high growth quarter, but stayed in second with 18.3 per cent of the market, up from 16.4 per cent one year ago. Dell, Acer and Asus round-out the top five.

“The better than expected results seem to arise from two places. One encouraging factor was a good intake of lower-end systems, including Chromebooks, which coincides with the recent slowing in tablet growth and perhaps signals the beginning of some stabilization on the consumer side,” said Jay Chou, senior research analyst, worldwide PC trackers with IDC, in a statement. “In addition, a sizable number of PCs are still running Windows XP and the impetus to upgrade them continued to boost shipments in the second quarter.”

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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