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Not even Asia can save PC market's slump

Punters taking tablets means PC pain persists

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PC shipments officially entered their longest slump in history last quarter after a 10.9 per cent year-on-year decline, with even the once-proud APAC region registering another double-digit drop, according to analyst Gartner.

The market watcher’s preliminary forecast for Q2 2013 makes for pretty grim reading if you’re a PC manufacturer, with worldwide shipments dropping to 76 million in the period.

In economically-sclerotic EMEA, shipments dipped 16.8 per cent from the previous year but APAC’s decline of 11.5 per cent to 26.8m units will be particularly disappointing considering it has in the past been something of a global growth engine.

Once again the rise of the tablet computer has been blamed as the primary cause of the shrinking PC market – whether that’s to replace low-end machines in mature markets or for use as a first computing device in emerging markets.

APAC’s poor performance can also be partly explained by the continued lack of consumer demand in China, where an absence of subsidised PC schemes and other initiatives in lower tier cities has hit hard, Gartner explained.

When it comes to the vendors, Lenovo managed to hang on to number one spot with a global share of 16.7 per cent, just above US rival HP (16.3) and Dell on 11.8 per cent. Acer (-35.3 per cent) and Asus (-20.5 per cent) performed the worst of the top five, coming in fourth and fifth place respectively.

One bright spot in an otherwise gloomy quarter was the performance of the US PC market, which declined less than in the previous seven quarters at just 1.4 per cent. Shipments there totalled 15 million, which is actually an increase of 8.5 per cent on the previous quarter, the analyst said. ®

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