PC Shipments Beat the Odds for 1st Quarter

By Rory Lidstone April 12, 2012

The number of worldwide personal computer shipments managed to rise higher than predictions for the first quarter of 2012, a time of the year typically slow in PC sales.

Information technology research and advisory firm Gartner Inc. said yesterday that about 89 million PCs were shipped in the first three months of this year, which is an increase of 1.9 percent over the same period in 2011 – higher than Gartner's earlier prediction of 1.2 percent.

IDC, another research group, also reported shipments were up 2.3 percent, rather than down by 0.9 percent as predicted. Though this may seem like a step in the right direction for the PC industry, experts say that these numbers only prove the market is in a state of flux.

While many analysts seem to think we are entering a post-PC world, citing the iPad's rapid sales as well as PC sales falling short in China and India, the increases in sales are still impressive for the time of year, as there is still a shortage of hard drives worldwide.

Gartner also stated PC shipments declined 3.5 percent in the U.S. – still better than their prediction of a 6.1 percent decline. Meanwhile, shipments to Asia rose by two percent, despite the weak demand in China and India, while shipments to Latin America declined by 3.2 percent.

IDC sees a more optimistic future for the PC market, according to Loren Loverde, IDC's vice president of worldwide consumer device trackers, who expects PC shipments to "pick up significantly by the fourth quarter."

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) and Lenovo Group Ltd. both managed to sport an especially impressive quarter. Gartner suggests HP strengthened its position as the PC worldwide market leader, claiming 17.2 percent of total shipments for the first quarter. Lenovo, meanwhile, managed to increase its shipments by 28.1 percent for a total market share of 13.1 percent, putting it in second place.

Edited by Braden Becker

TechZone360 Contributing Writer

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