Growth in the global PC market stalled this quarter as OEMs continued to face sluggish consumer sales, industry research firm IDC reported Wednesday. Dell's sales were especially lackluster, the report showed, slipping below the 10-million-unit mark for the first time since 2009.
Sales of notebooks and desktops, according to IDC, continued to be light this quarter because many consumers are choosing to hold off on making a purchase until Windows 8, Microsoft's next-generation operating system, launches this fall. What's more, Ultrabook sales have been weaker than expected, IDC said, partly because their price points are still too high.
"These latest results validate IDC's expectation that the second quarter would be a transition period where both economic factors and anticipation for new products in the second half of the year would result in relatively low PC shipment growth," said Jay Chou, senior research analyst, Worldwide PC Tracker, in the report. "The announcement of a Windows 8 launch date, as well as broader communication of new features in the OS, are key steps that would help to address uncertainty about new product availability and help consumers and channels plan their purchases."
Though Windows 8 is poised to spark some growth in the market, it most likely won't occur until the fourth quarter, IDC said.
Despite Dell's shipment numbers being at a three-year low, the Round Rock, Texas-based company managed to hold on to its No. 3 spot in the race toward becoming the largest PC maker. Dell struggled to maintain momentum in the last quarter as well, reporting earnings of $635 million, down from the $945 million it reported during the first quarter of last year.
Lenovo continued to be the second largest PC maker in the quarter and significantly narrowed the gap between itself and Hewlett-Packard, the reigning champ of PC sales, IDC said.
Acer and Asus claimed the fourth and fifth spots, respectively, with Asus especially seeing growth. The report suggested that the bulk of Asus' PC shipments were within Europe and Asia but that it is steadily increasing its market share in other regions, as well.
The U.S. PC market fared worse than any other region in terms of growth, IDC said, with shipments shrinking by 10.6 percent. Among the top-tier OEMs, Lenovo was the only one to see growth in the U.S., which IDC attributed to its aggressive pricing models and the breadth of its channel.
PUBLISHED JULY 12, 2012