After more than two years of decline, worldwide PC shipments have registered a slow but consistent improvement, growing by 1 per cent to 83.7 million units in the October-December quarter, research firm Gartner said today.
“The PC market is quietly stabilising after the installed base reduction driven by users diversifying their device portfolios. Installed base PC displacement by tablets peaked in 2013 and the first half of 2014,” Gartner Principal Analyst Mikako Kitagawa said.
Now that tablets have mostly penetrated some key markets, consumer spending is slowly shifting back to PCs, she added.
“However, there are regional variations. Mostly, mature regions show an ongoing trend of positive growth, but emerging markets remain weak,” Kitagawa said.
The US showed the highest growth in the fourth quarter of 2014, while in EMEA, the Western Europe PC market also showed good consumer sales.
Emerging markets, on the other hand, still showed weak PC growth.
“We attribute this weakness to a strong affinity for smartphones and tablets in those markets, while PCs are a low priority. Even low priced notebooks struggle to succeed, because of the different mobile device usage patterns,” she said.
Lenovo held onto its position as the worldwide leader in PC shipments in the fourth quarter, with 19.4 per cent market share.
HP stood second in the tally with 18.8 per cent share, followed by Dell (12.7 per cent), Acer (8.1 per cent) and ASUS (7.5 per cent).
In the US, PC shipments totalled 18.1 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014, a 13.1 per cent increase from the fourth quarter of 2013, registering the fastest growth in the last four years.
PC shipments in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) totalled 26.5 million units (up 2.8 per cent), while the Asia Pacific market showed a modest recovery with sales of 26.6 million units (up 2 per cent).
For 2014, total sales declined marginally to 315.8 million compared to shipment of 316.4 million in the previous year.
Lenovo and HP had market shares of 18.8 per cent and 17.5 per cent, respectively in 2014.
Dell, Acer and Asus followed in the list with 12.8 per cent, 7.9 per cent and 7.2 per cent share in 2014.
The data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs, premium ultramobiles and all Windows-based tablets. It excludes Chromebooks and other non-Windows-based tablets.