Global PC sales slip 5 percent

Market performed better than expected

July 16, 2009

Market performed better than expected says Gartner

Worldwide PC shipments totalled 68.1 million units in the second quarter of 2009, a 5 per cent decline from the second quarter of 2008, according to preliminary results from Gartner.

The market performed better than Gartner had expected. In June, Gartner had forecast second quarter PC shipments to decline 9.8 per cent.

“In the first quarter of 2009, inventory re-stocking played a major role in shipment growth, but this was less of a factor in the second quarter,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

“Although the market was still in decline, the better than expected results can be interpreted as a small sign of a PC market recovery in terms of shipment volumes in some regions. PC shipments in Asia/Pacific and the US were better than our expectation, while shipments in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region indicated on-ongoing weakness.”

PC shipments in the US totalled 16.4 million units in the second quarter of 2009, a decline of 1.2 per cent from the second quarter of 2008. These results beat Gartner’s expectation of a 12 per cent year-on-year decline. Desk-based PCs continued to show a double-digit decline, while mobile PC shipments showed strength with an increase in the 20 per cent range.

“Mini-notebooks aside, some vendors had very aggressive pricing of regular mobile PCs below $500 at US retailers,” Kitagawa said. “Aggressive pricing determined the winners and losers for market share gains in the US consumer market.”

After losing the No. 1 position in the first quarter of 2009, Dell returned to the top position with a slight difference over HP (of just 0.3 percentage points). Dell’s challenge had been to protect its margins and share at the same time. Gartner analysts said that in the second quarter, Dell’s strategy appeared to be more towards defending its market share.