According to market analyst firm International Data Corporation, worldwide PC shipments totaled 81.6 million units in the third quarter of 2013. In year-over-year terms, the market contracted by 7.6 percent, ahead of a projected decline of 9.5 percent. While shipments remained weak during the early part of the quarter, the market was somewhat buoyed by business purchases, as well as a slight uptick from Windows 8.1-based systems going on sale during September.
IDC's market analysis includes desktops, portables, mini notebooks, and workstations. Not included are handhelds, x86-based servers, and Android or iOS-based tablets. Percentages are based on "shipments," which include units sent to the distribution channel or to end users. Actual sales figures are, as always, unavailable (apart from Apple, which reports actual end-user sales).
"The United States outperformed many other regions as growth stabilized. Continuing upgrades from Windows XP boosted shipments, particularly in the commercial desktop segment -- while retail acceptance of new and emerging product categories such as Chromebooks & Ultraslims helped portables," said Rajani Singh, a research analyst from Client Computing. "Nevertheless, the broad picture of the US market has not changed much, with hopes for a small increase in Q4 followed by a challenging 2014."
The top three vendors -- Lenovo, HP, and Dell -- which all have an important presence in the enterprise and public sectors, each saw modest positive year-on-year US growth during the quarter. Conversely, consumer sentiment remained lukewarm at best, as evidenced by the continued struggles of Acer and Asus.
The US market continued to show signs of recovery although shipments still contracted. Shipments were down -0.2 percent in the last quarter as compared to same quarter a year ago. Additionally, emerging product categories and a greater assortment of Windows 8-based models supported the volume increase. Migration from Windows XP to Windows 7 added purchasers as well. HP maintained its leadership position, gaining a few points of share in the US, with Lenovo recording growth of 25.8 percent year-over-year.
US vendors were led by HP, with 27 percent of the third quarter marketshare. Dell came in second with 21.2 percent, with Apple taking third with 11.6 percent. Lenovo trailed Apple at 10.5 percent, with Toshiba claiming the fifth spot at 6.8 percent.
The PC market in Europe contracted in the third quarter in line with IDC forecasts. PC shipments remained constrained particularly in the home segment, which continued to suffer from weak consumer demand amid an ongoing industry shift to tablets. Lean inventory remained a priority for channel partners across the region during the quarter, with portable PC shipments suffering a particularly strong decline. Desktop shipments were less constrained due to unknown market forces.
Lenovo has taken the top spot worldwide, with 17.3 percent of the global marketshare. HP placed second at 17.1 percent, with Dell in third at 11.7 percent. Acer retained the fourth slot despite a massive drop to settle at 6.7 percent, with Asus claiming 5.2 percent of the market.