PC shipments have been declining from some time now, thanks to tablets becoming the on-the-go device for consumers. Recently, International Data Corporation (IDC) released their latest figures, which shows a decline in PC shipments by 1.7 percent, which is a definite improvement over IDC's forecast of -4.1 percent. While the decline is not as high as expected, IDC's analyst Jay Chou defined it as "weaker calendar third quarters on record in terms of sequential growth."
"PC shipment growth in the United States remained slightly faster than most other regions in the third quarter and overall the U.S. PC market came in right on forecast with 4.3% year-on-year growth. Solid back-to-school sales, a strong performance from key vendors, the continued acceptance of Chromebooks, some commercial uptick from Windows XP to Windows 7 migration, and the slowdown in tablet sales are among the factors that helped the PC market to continue on its positive growth rate trajectory," said Rajani Singh, Senior Research Analyst, Personal Computing. "Moving forward, we expect a healthy holiday season, hence the U.S. PC market may maintain a positive growth rate. However, low demand for large commercial refreshes, combined with competition from 2-in-1 systems, may limit the growth potential."
Lenovo continues to be top vendor for PCs with over 15 million PC shipments and a market share of 20 percent -- a sizeable improvement of 11.2 percent compared to the same quarter last year, and a 2.3 percentage point increase in the market share. Lenovo's CEO and chairman Yang Yuanqing said,
"Reaching the 20% mark in global PC share is a great milestone for Lenovo – and we got there even faster than expected. While others have been looking for a game plan that works, we have been executing ours and the results speak for themselves. Not only have we reached another record high and solidified our PC leadership position for the 6th straight quarter, but we have diversified our business at the same time. We are number 2 in the growing PC+tablet market and number 3 in global tablet sales and servers. And we will soon be number 3 in worldwide smartphones. Even as our revenues approach $50 billion, Lenovo has remained consistent AND nimble."
HP, Dell, Acer and Apple are crowned as the remaining vendors in the top five list, all achieving a positive growth when it comes to PCs, with a year-on-year growth between 5 to 11 percent. Apple has seen an increase in its ranking, displacing Asus to claim the fifth spot. Despite the positive growth by the top five vendors, the rivals have seen a sharp decline in their shipments, a massive fall of 17.9 percent. The remaining PC vendors shipped almost 26 million units, with a market share of 33.1 percent, declining from 31 million units in the same quarter last year.
Regional performance has followed an upward trend in some regions with US improving by 4.3 percent, year-on-year, in the third quarter of 2014, and 2.6 percent over the last quarter. It's not just the United States, EMEA region also showed positive growth. Most of it can be attributed to the back-to-school sales, and the beginning of the holiday season, but IDC's Jay Chou mentioned that back-to-school sales were "weaker than normal" this year.
As for the Asia Pacific region, there was no positive growth compared to last year, but the region did outperform expectations, seeing modest growth in several countries such as New Zealand and Australia.
Microsoft has also released a preview of its latest operating system dubbed as Windows 10, which is a definite improvement over its predecessor. Microsoft plans to unify it on all devices, but we don't know how at the moment. Microsoft's Windows 10 will launch late next year.