Research firms IDC and Gartner have both released figures for worldwide PC shipments for the fourth quarter of 2014, and surprisingly enough, they seem to disagree with each other. Yes, both firms present different figures — Gartner says the PC shipments rose by 1 percent when compared with the same quarter in 2013, while IDC has a different view saying it has declined year-on-year by 2.4 percents — that’s a big difference.
Gartner says worldwide PC shipments totaled 83.7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014, while IDC says it’s 80.8 million — there’s a discrepancy in the total number of PCs shipped so that could be one of the reason for the difference in the rise/decline figure. But, both firms agree on the fact that United States and Europe saw growth in the shipments, especially during the holiday season.
“The strength from market leaders, as well as improvement in Asia/Pacific and the consumer market more generally, are positive signs for the PC market. Growth of Chrome, Bing, all-in-ones, ultraslim, convertibles, and touch systems similarly make PCs more compelling and competitive. Nevertheless, some of the gains are relatively small, and weakening drivers like Bing promotions and end of XP support transitions, cast a shadow of doubt on the strength of the market going into 2015.” – Loren Loverde, IDC Vice President, Worldwide PC Tracker
“The PC market is quietly stabilizing 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. Now that tablets have mostly penetrated some key markets, consumer spending is slowly shifting back to PCs.” – Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner
As far as the manufacturers are concerned, Lenovo continues to reign supreme with over 16 million units shipped, showing strong growth in the United States and EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) regions. It’s interesting to note that the number of units shipped reported by both research firm varies a lot as well. IDC says Lenovo’s shipments rose by 4.5 percent compared to the same quarter in 2013, while Gartner reports a 7.5 percent increase.
There’s a slight difference in the top five PC manufacturers as well. Gartner lists the remaining top five contenders to be HP, Dell, Acer and Asus, while IDC mentions Apple to be in the top five vendors outspacing Asus from the fifth spot. HP also continued to be the largest manufacturer in the United States, seeing a growth of almost 26 percent, followed by Dell and Apple.
It’s also worth mentioning that IDC’s numbers takes into account Chromebooks while they don’t add up Windows-based tablets in its numbers — so could it be that IDC didn’t take into account the number of Surface Pro 3 or any other Windows-based tablet into its figures? On the other hand, Gartner doesn’t include Chromebooks, but takes into accounts Windows-based tablets so there’s another reason why the numbers from both research firms are apparently different.Further reading: Gartner, IDC, Microsoft, Windows, Windows 8.1