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Press release from Business Wire

Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments Grew 1.9 Percent in First Quarter of 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments Grew 1.9 Percent in First Quarter of 201216:54 EDT Wednesday, April 11, 2012 STAMFORD, Conn. (Business Wire) -- Worldwide PC shipments totaled 89 million units in the first quarter of 2012, a 1.9 percent increase from the first quarter of 2011, when shipments reached 87.3 million units, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. These results exceed Gartner's earlier projections of a 1.2 percent decline for the quarter. "The results were mixed depending on the region, as we saw the EMEA region perform better than expected with PC shipments growing 6.7 percent in the first quarter of 2012, while Asia/Pacific performed below expectations, in part because of slow growth in India and China," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "While the PC industry has high expectations for strong growth in the emerging markets, the slowdown of these countries in this quarter provides a cautionary notice to vendors that the future growth for the PC industry cannot heavily depend on the emerging markets even though PC penetration in these regions is low." "In general, the hard-disk drive (HDD) supply shortage had a limited impact on PC supply during 1Q12. There was a moderate impact on selected markets, such as low-end consumer notebooks and the white-box market in selected regions. Still, low PC demand was able to mask the tight HDD supply overall." Although PC vendors typically experience low consumer PC sales in the first quarter, Gartner's preliminary results reveal worse-than-normal consumer PC shipment growth. The weak consumer PC demand is in part because of intensified competition for consumers' budgets. Device vendors that focus on a limited product line will get only a small portion of the consumer wallet. Companies such as Apple can be clear winners because of comprehensive product/service offerings, which gain a large part of consumers' spending. HP increased its share as the global market leader, as it accounted for 17.2 percent of worldwide PC shipments in the first quarter of 2012 (see Table 2). HP was able to secure HDD inventory, unlike 4Q11 when it was faced with a shortage issue. HP's growth also indicates that internal management issues were resolved, and analysts said it appears HP was able to restore some of the business it lost as a result of those issues. Table 1Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q12 (Units)     1Q12   1Q12 Market   1Q11   1Q11 Market   1Q12-1Q11Company     Shipments   Share (%)   Shipments   Share (%)   Growth (%) HP 15,305,413 17.2 14,785,739 16.9 3.5 Lenovo 11,629,510 13.1 9,075,667 10.4 28.1 Dell 9,826,121 11.0 9,984,358 11.4 -1.6 Acer Group 9,684,524 10.9 10,660,254 12.2 -9.2 ASUS 5,361,994 6.0 4,420,328 5.1 21.3 Others 37,171,419 41.8 38,357,841 43.9 -3.1 Total     88,978,981   100.0   87,284,188   100.0   1.9 Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs, including mini-notebooks but not media tablets such as the iPad.Source: Gartner (April 2012) Lenovo experienced the strongest growth among the top five vendors, as its shipments increased 28.1 percent in the first quarter of 2012. It showed significant shipment growth in the EMEA market, with over 50 percent year-over-year growth. Lenovo has been enjoying healthy growth in the professional market, while the company successfully expanded into the consumer space. Dell underperformed in most regions compared with a year ago. For the first time in two years, Dell experienced a year-over-year shipment decline in the Asia/Pacific market. Gartner analysts said early indications suggest that Dell's relatively low shipments were mainly due to low-end consumer systems, to which Dell gave low priority. Dell's investments seem to be more focused toward businesses. In the U.S., PC shipments totaled 15.5 million units in the first quarter of 2012, a 3.5 percent decline from the same period last year (see Table 2). Gartner analysts had expected the market to decline 6.1 percent in the quarter. "The consumer segment continued to be a drag on market growth, as PC demand was low," Ms. Kitagawa said. "The HDD supply shortage moderately impacted the very low-end consumer notebook market, so channels could not run aggressive promotions with very low-end systems. Questions remain on whether low-end systems can attract consumers, as their attention has moved to other devices." HP experienced the strongest growth among the top five vendors in the U.S., as its shipments grew 6.6 percent, and its market share reached 29 percent in the quarter. Apple was the only other vendor among the top five to show growth in the quarter, as its shipments increased 3.8 percent. Table 2Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q12 (Units)     1Q12   1Q12 Market   1Q11   1Q11 Market   1Q12-1Q11Company     Shipments   Share (%)   Shipments   Share (%)   Growth (%) HP 4,493,516 29.0 4,213,342 26.2 6.6 Dell 3,459,925 22.3 3,587,716 22.3 -3.6 Apple 1,640,814 10.6 1,580,200 9.8 3.8 Acer Group 1,418,043 9.1 1,913,473 11.9 -25.9 HP 1,349,900 8.7 1,669,700 10.4 -19.2 Others 3,158,050 20.3 3,126,149 19.4 1.0 Total     15,520,247   100.0   16,090,581   100.0   -3.5 Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs, including mini-notebooks but not media tablets such as the iPad.Source: Gartner (April 2012) PC shipments in EMEA totaled 28.2 million units in the first quarter of 2012, a 6.7 percent increase from the same period last year. Professional PC shipments were above expectations across most countries, but consumer PC demand still varied greatly by country. In Asia/Pacific, PC shipments reached 30.3 million units in the first quarter of 2012, a 2 percent increase from the first quarter of 2011. In China, shipments of desk-based PCs decreased significantly as there was no longer a rural PC program in place to drive demand. In India, the Tamil Nadu deal, operated by local government to provide free laptops to students, was supposed to be executed in the first quarter, but it has been postponed to subsequent quarters. The PC market in Latin America declined 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2012, as shipments totaled 9 million units. Mobile PC shipments grew 0.4 percent over the first quarter of 2011, while desk-based PC shipments decreased 7.6 percent. Many white-box PC vendors had depleted inventory due to the HDD shortage. PC shipments in Japan grew 11.5 percent in the first quarter of 2012, as shipments reached 4.4 million units. The double-digit growth was due in part to the very weak performance in 1Q11, which was affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March of last year. "The first quarter of 2012 was a transitional period as the PC industry is awaiting two big releases: Intel's Ivy Bridge and Microsoft's Windows 8. Both are expected to be launched this year. Although these new releases are not expected to stimulate demand as much as the industry hopes, they will affect PC supply so that there will be artificial supply control before and after the product releases. There will be few products rolled out into the market until these major releases have taken place," Ms. Kitagawa said. 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 website 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 a valuable partner to 60,000 clients in 11,500 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, USA, and has 4,500 associates, including 1,250 research analysts and consultants, and clients in 85 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com. GartnerChristy Pettey, 408-468-8312christy.pettey@gartner.com