HP is King of a Shrinking PC Kingdom in 2012

The Gartner group’s latest numbers make a grim reading of the PC market in the last quarter of 2012. The data shows that the global PC market shrank by 4.9 percent in the last quarter of 2012.

HP remained king of this shrinking kingdom, with 14.6 million shipments in the last quarter, a slight decline (-0.5%) from 2011.

Lenovo was close behind with almost 14 million units shipped, but overall showing a gain of 8.2% quarter-on-quarter.

Dell sales cratered in Q4 by a whopping 20.9% and they remained in third place behind Lenovo. Acer suffered the same fate with an 11% quarter-on-quarter sales decline.

For the full year, the Gartner Group shows that Lenovo is likely to become the world’s largest PC vendor in 2013. HP is currently hanging on to that title, but with an almost 7% fall in year-on-year sales and Lenovo’s 14.% yearly growth, the switch appears inevitable.

The question to ask is why the PC market slid by 3.5% in 2012, as shown in the table. Well, Windows 8 clearly failed to ignite the PC market is one, although 2013 may be a different story.

Secondly however, is the now-incontrovertible fact that tablets are eating away at the PC market. Folks who might once have unthinkingly bought a notebook or PC are instead, buying tablets and in some cases, smartphones.

The other title the table could have is “The Rise of the East”. Lenovo and Asus are the only top 5 vendors who grew their sales in 2012 – Asus mostly with cheaper units.

Not only will the top line fall in 2013, but the bottom line of profits will also likely fall, to enable PCs and notebooks compete with cheaper tablets.

Do you think the PC market will stabilize in 2013 or will tablets continue to erode it. Share your thoughts in our discussion.

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