IT research firm Gartner has published their quarterly report examining the state of the computer industry, noting yet again that sales of PCs are falling. The third quarter of 2013 saw an overall slide of PC shipments of 8.6% down compared to Q3 2012, according to Gartner’s figures, making that six consecutive quarters where the fate of the PC isn’t looking that great.
Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa said “The third quarter is often referred to as the ‘back-to-school’ quarter for PC sales, and sales this quarter dropped to their lowest volume since 2008. Consumers’ shift from PCs to tablets for daily content consumption continued to decrease the installed base of PCs both in mature as well as in emerging markets. A greater availability of inexpensive Android tablets attracted first-time consumers in emerging markets, and as supplementary devices in mature markets.”
Analyst firm IDC has a similar opinion on PC shipments, stating that global sales of computer systems fell by 7.6% in the measured quarter. This isn’t as bad as the company was expecting, originally it had projected a 9.5% drop for the period.
IDC’s vice president of Worldwide PC Trackers Loren Loverde said “Whether constrained by a weak economy or being selective in their tech investments, buyers continue to evaluate options and delay PC replacements. Despite being a little ahead of forecast, and the work that’s being done on new designs and integration of features like touch, the third quarter results suggest that there’s still a high probability that we will see another decline in worldwide shipments in 2014.”
The outlook for PC sales isn’t great but both Gartner and the IDC make mention of improvements in some markets. Sales of computers in the States look to be stabilising, though it isn’t clear whether this is the start of a trend that will spread globally.