The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Globe Investor

News Sources

Take control of your investments with the latest investing news and analysis

Press release from Business Wire

Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments in Fourth Quarter of 2011 Declined 1.4 Percent; Year-End Shipments Increased 0.5 Percent

<p class='bwalignc'> <i><b>Healthy Professional PC and Emerging Market Growth Couldn't Compensate for Weak Holiday Consumer PC Demand</b></i> </p>

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments in Fourth Quarter of 2011 Declined 1.4 Percent; Year-End Shipments Increased 0.5 Percent17:09 EST Wednesday, January 11, 2012 STAMFORD, Conn. (Business Wire) -- After two quarters of positive growth, worldwide PC shipments totaled 92.2 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011, a 1.4 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2010, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. These figures were in line with Gartner's earlier forecast of a 1 percent decline for the fourth quarter of 2011. “Continuously low consumer PC demand resulted in weak holiday PC shipments,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “While economic uncertainty in Western Europe had an effect on consumer PC shipments, expectations of a healthier economic outlook in North America could not stimulate consumer PC demand in that region. The healthy professional PC market as well as growth in emerging markets could not compensate for the weaknesses in mature markets, with overall growth still negative.” Hard-disk drive (HDD) shortages triggered by the October 2011 floods in Thailand had a limited impact on fourth-quarter PC shipments and prices. However, Gartner analysts said a major impact will be felt, and this is expected to materialize in the first half of 2012, and potentially continue throughout 2012. These shortages will temporarily lower PC shipment growth during 2012. “Ultrabooks were quietly introduced into the market during the 4Q11 holiday season,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “Ultrabooks didn't seem to draw consumers' attention. Consumers had very little understanding and awareness of ultrabooks, and only a small group of consumers was willing to pay the price premium for such models. However, as has been seen this week at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) show, 2012 is a big debut stage for ultrabooks.” HP retained its No. 1 position in the fourth quarter of 2011, despite a shipment decline of 16.2 percent year over year (see Table 1). While the company's new CEO, Meg Whitman, cleared up some confusion surrounding its PC business, its 4Q11 results were affected by the noise around this issue. HP also had to battle against aggressive pricing from competitors and deal with weak consumer PC demand in the holiday season. Table 1Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q11 (Units)Company       4Q11 Shipments       4Q11 Market Share (%)       4Q10 Shipments       4Q10 Market Share (%)       4Q11-4Q10 Growth (%) HP       14,712,266       16.0       17,554,181       18.8       -16.2 Lenovo 12,931,136 14.0 10,516,772 11.3 23.0 Dell 11,633,880 12.6 10,796,317 11.6 7.8 Acer Group 9,823,214 10.7 12,043,606 12.9 -18.4 Asus 6,243,118 6.8 5,180,913 5.5 20.5 Others 36,827,666 40.0 37,358,786 40.0 -1.4 Total       92,171,280       100.0       93,450,575       100.0       -1.4 Note: Data includes desk-based PCs, mobile PCs, including mini-notebooks but not media tablets such as the iPad.Source: Gartner (January 2012) Lenovo experienced the strongest growth among the top five vendors, as its PC shipments grew 23 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, and it further cemented its place as the No. 2 vendor in global PC shipments. The company's growth was attributed to its aggressive pricing in both the professional and consumer markets. Dell had a good quarter with shipment growth in most regions. While the consumer market remained a weak point, Dell enjoyed stable growth in the professional sector, driven by upgrades to Windows 7. Asia/Pacific continued to be the major growth market for Dell, as it achieved 30 percent growth in the region. Asus stayed in the No. 5 position despite generally weak consumer sales. Asus's shift from mini-notebooks to regular notebooks was successful, as close to 80 percent of Asus mobile PCs shipments were regular notebooks in the fourth quarter of 2011. In the U.S., PC shipments totaled 17.9 million units, a 5.9 percent decline compared with the same quarter last year (see Table 2). U.S. holiday sales were not all that exciting for PC vendors. As expected, consumers' attention was diverted toward other product categories, especially smartphones and media tablets. All-in-one (AIO) desktop PCs drew consumers' attention during the holiday season. The main attractions were large screen sizes and high-definition viewing capability. HP maintained the No. 1 position in the U.S. PC market in the fourth quarter of 2011, but Dell gained ground as HP lost substantial market share in the quarter. Apple enjoyed the strongest growth among the top five vendors. Lenovo's U.S. PC shipments grew 40 percent year-over-year, but its shipment volume was not enough to squeeze into the top five ranking (it was in the sixth position). Table 2Preliminary United States PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q11 (Units)Company       4Q11 Shipments       4Q11 Market Share (%)       4Q10 Shipments       4Q10 Market Share (%)       4Q11-4Q10 Growth (%) HP       4,137,833       23.1       5,598,619       29.4       -26.1 Dell 4,020,549 22.4 4,210,000 22.1 -4.5 Apple 2,074,800 11.6 1,718,400 9.0 20.7 Toshiba 1,925,100 10.7 1,968,091 10.3 -2.2 Acer Group 1,756,838 9.8 1,982,477 10.4 -11.4 Others 4,014,644 22.4 3,583,418 18.8 12.0 Total       17,929,764       100.0       19,061,005       100.0       -5.9 Note: Data includes desk-based PCs, mobile PCs, including mini-notebooks but not media tablets such as the iPad.Source: Gartner (January 2012) PC shipments in EMEA totaled 28.9 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011, a 9.6 percent decline from the same period in 2010. The EMEA PC market experienced its fourth consecutive quarter of decline, resulting in year-end 2011 shipments decreasing 7.2 percent from 2010. Western Europe saw weak consumer growth, as an uneasy economic environment squeezed consumer spending on PCs. In Asia/Pacific, PC shipments reached 30.4 million units, an 8.5 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2010. The market performance was below Gartner's anticipated growth of 10.6 percent. The preliminary findings show weaker shipment growth in China, India and Thailand. The PC market in Latin America grew 11.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, as shipments reached 9.3 million units. Because whitebox PC vendors make up a large portion of Latin America's PC market, last quarter Gartner expected Thailand's HDD shortage to moderately affect growth in Latin America in the near term. Thus far, anecdotal evidence indicates that many local vendors had quickly ordered sufficient inventory to exit the fourth quarter unaffected. PC shipments in Japan declined 2.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, as shipments totaled 3.9 million units. This was better than Gartner's earlier projection of an 8 percent decline. The professional market showed a high double-digit decline, while the consumer market saw mid-single-digit growth. For the year, worldwide PC shipments totaled 352.8 million units in 2011, a 0.5 percent increase from 2010 (see Table 3). A weak consumer PC market, particularly in mature markets, was a major contributor to this stagnation, despite good growth in the professional market. Emerging markets grew steadily, driven by low initial PC penetration. Among the top five PC vendors, Lenovo took over the No. 2 spot from Dell. Lenovo continued to gain market share via aggressive pricing and acquisitions, namely of NEC and Medion. Asus climbed from sixth to fifth, replacing Toshiba. Table 3Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2011 (Units)Company       2011 Shipments       2011 Market Share (%)       2010 Shipments       2010 Market Share (%)       2011-2010 Growth (%) HP       60,554,726       17.2       62,741,274       17.9       -3.5 Lenovo 45,703,863 13.0 38,180,444 10.9 19.7 Dell 42,864,759 12.1 42,119,272 12.0 1.8 Acer Group 39,415,381 11.2 48,758,542 13.9 -19.2 ASUS 20,768,465 5.9 18,902,723 5.4 9.9 Others 143,499,792 40.7 140,198,078 40.0 2.4 Total       352,806,984       100.0       350,900,332       100.0       0.5 Note: Data includes desk-based PCs, mobile PCs, including mini-notebooks but not media tablets such as the iPad.Source: Gartner (January 2012) These results are preliminary. Final statistics will be available soon to clients of Gartner's PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region program. This program offers a comprehensive and timely picture of the worldwide PC market, allowing product planning, distribution, marketing and sales organizations to keep abreast of key issues and their future implications around the globe. Additional research can be found on Gartner's Computing Hardware section on Gartner's web site at http://www.gartner.com/it/products/research/asset_129157_2395.jsp. About Gartner Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is the valuable partner to 60,000 clients in 11,000 distinct organizations. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has 4,400 associates, including 1,200 research analysts and consultants, and clients in 85 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com. GartnerChristy Pettey, 408-468-8312christy.pettey@gartner.com