Gartner: Global PC Shipments Total 351 Million Units in 2010, Gain 13.8 Percent, U.S. Q4 PC Market Slides Nearly 7 Percent

Researcher counts 93.5 million PCs shipped during Q4 2010, driven by a business PC refresh cycle, still nearly two percent shy of expectations. HP, Acer PC shipments decline, Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba gain for period.

January 17, 2011

D.H. Kass

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Global shipments of PCs for 2010 totaled some 351 million units for a 13.8 percent increase over last year, dwarfing the industry’s 5.5 percent uptick in 2009, according to preliminary figures compiled by researcher Gartner Inc.

Top vendor Hewlett-Packard Co.’s share of the PC market in 2010 slipped by more than 1 percent to 17.9 percent and the vendor posted the smallest year-over-year growth rate among the market leaders at 6.5 percent, while shipping some 62.8 million PC units worldwide, according to Gartner’s data.

Lenovo Group Ltd. and Toshiba, the fourth and fifth place finishers, each far outperformed the market, growing PC shipments by 37 percent and nearly 23 percent, respectively, for the year, Gartner said. Lenovo shipped nearly 34 million PCs in 2010 and Toshiba slightly more than 19 million units, the researcher said.

According to Gartner, in 2010 Acer Group posted a 13.8 percent year-over-year increase to 45 million shipped PC units, amounting to 13 percent of the market, holding second place ahead of Dell Inc.’s 42 million PCs shipped and 12 percent of the segment. Dell’s PC shipment total grew nearly 13 percent from last year’s performance, Gartner said.

In gathering PC shipment data, Gartner counts desktops, mobile PCs and mini notebooks but not media tablets such as Apple Computer Inc.’s iPad.

"For all 2010, the results indicate the PC market recovered from the recession, as it returned to double-digit growth, compared to low single-digit growth in 2009,” said Mikako Kitagawa, Gartner principal analyst. “However, the PC market will face challenges going forward with more intensified competition among consumer spending,” she said.

Q4 2010 worldwide PC shipments slip for market leaders

HP held its global leadership position for PC shipments during the fourth quarter of 2010, recording a total of 17.6 million units or nearly 19 percent of the market, although the vendor’s performance slid more than 1 percent when compared to the same time last year and came in far below the worldwide aggregate of 3.1 percent growth, according to Gartner.

Gartner said that HP suffered during the period from weak consumer business in the U.S.

Acer’s worldwide PC shipment totals for Q4 2010 also declined as the vendor shipped some 11.9 million PCs during the period, nearly a 2 percent drop from its totals during the similar period last year.

Dell held the third spot at 10.8 million PCs shipped worldwide during the quarter, for a 4 percent bump over the same period last year, as the company benefitted from a PC refresh cycle among business customers, Gartner said.

Acer’s shipment totals for the period were negatively impacted by sluggish mobile PC sales, a weakening mini-notebook market and a secondary position in the business segment, the researcher said.

Lenovo and Toshiba, in mirroring jumps for the overall year, posted steep increases of PC shipments during Q4 2010 at 21.4 percent and 12.1 percent respectively, to hold fourth and fifth place for the quarter, Gartner said. Lenovo gained some traction in the consumer market during the period, Gartner said, and also benefitted from the PC refresh cycle among business customers.

“Overall, holiday PC sales were weak in many key regions due to the intensifying competition in consumer spending. Media tablets, such as the iPad, as well as other consumer electronic devices, such as game consoles, all competed against PCs,” said Kitagawa.

“The bright side of the PC market during the fourth quarter of 2010 was a steady growth in the professional market driven by replacement purchases,” she said.

U.S. PC market slides nearly 7 percent in Q4 2010

In the fourth quarter of 2010, PC vendors shipped about 19 million units in the U.S., about 1.4 million units, or 6.6 percent, less than during the same period last year, Gartner said. The researcher earlier had predicted a 10 percent decline in the U.S. market for the period.

The researcher attributed the quarterly U.S. market downturn to lethargic holiday season sales and more competition from media tablet sales, in spite of strong growth from the professional market.

“U.S. holiday sales were not fantastic for most PC vendors, but the professional market did show healthy growth during the quarter,” Kitagawa said. “Media tablets undoubtedly intensified the competition in the consumer market,” she said.

HP remained the U.S. PC market leader with a 29 percent share of all shipments during Q4 2010, although the vendor shipped 355,000, or 6 percent, fewer units that the same period last year.

Dell retained its hold on second place during the quarter at 22 percent share of the segment, despite shipping 6 percent fewer PCs, followed by Acer, Toshiba and Apple.

Acer’s PC shipments in the U.S. for the period slumped by 30 percent and its share slipped by nearly 3 percentage points, according to Gartner’s figures. By comparison, Toshiba recorded more than 14 percent growth for the quarter and Apple posted nearly a 24 percent increase in PC unit shipments for the period.

TAGS: PC,HP,Lenovo,Gartner,sales

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