Gartner: PC Market posts 11.2 percent decline in Q113; Apple Mac sales up 7.4 percent in U.S.

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 79.2 million units in the first quarter of 2013, a 11.2 percent decline from the first quarter of 2012, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. Global PC shipments went below 80 million units for the first time since the second quarter of 2009. All regions showed a decrease in shipments, with the EMEA region experiencing the steepest decline.

“In the first quarter of 2013, it was the fourth consecutive quarter that showed a drop in worldwide PC shipments,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “Consumers are migrating content consumption from PCs to other connected devices, such as tablets and smartphones. Even emerging markets, where PC penetration is low, are not expected to be a strong growth area for PC vendors.

“Unlike the consumer PC segment, the professional PC market, which accounts for about half of overall PC shipments, has seen growth, driven by continuing PC refreshes. Despite the fact that some regions already passed the peak of PC refresh, overall professional PC demand continued to grow.”

HP and Lenovo were in a virtual tie for the top position in the first quarter of 2013 (see Table 1). HP had a very challenging quarter, as it recorded its worst shipment decline since the acquisition of Compaq in 2003. HP’s consumer business negatively affected its overall shipment volume, but its professional business was also under attack by competitors.

Table 1: Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q13 (Units)
Gartner: Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q13 (Units)
Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs, including mini-notebooks but not media tablets such as the iPad.

Lenovo’s worldwide PC shipments were flat compared with a year ago. While its shipment growth rate exceeded the overall industry average, it was Lenovo’s slowest growth since the first quarter of 2009. The slowdown was attributed to a shipment decline in Asia/Pacific, where more than 50 percent of Lenovo’s PCs were shipped.

Dell also had a challenging quarter, registering a shipment decline in all regions except Japan. In Gartner’s preliminary view, Dell’s shipment growth in Japan was boosted by moderate demand, driven by a corporate refresh. Dell’s discussions about a possible leveraged buyout impacted shipments, as competitors aggressively attacked Dell’s position in the professional market.

In the U.S. market, PC shipments totaled 14.2 million units in the first quarter of 2013, a 9.6 percent decline from the first quarter of 2012 (see Table 2). It marked a record of six consecutive quarters of shipment declines.

“Although the overall economy had some upward momentum, it did not help buoy PC growth, suggesting the economic recovery is having little impact on PC market conditions,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “Similar to other mature markets, the U.S. will see the installed base of consumer PCs decrease going forward. This is because many of these systems will not be replaced with PCs; they will be displaced by other devices, or simply retired.”

Apple and Lenovo were the only vendors among the top five in the U.S. to experience PC shipment growth in the first quarter of 2013. HP held onto the top position, accounting for 24.2 percent of PC shipments in the U.S.; however, its shipments declined 23.3 percent from the first quarter of 2012.

Table 2: Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q13 (Units)
Gartner: Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q13 (Units)
Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs, including mini-notebooks but not media tablets such as the iPad.

PC shipments in EMEA totaled 23.3 million units in the first quarter of 2013, a 16 percent decline from the same period last year. It was the third consecutive quarter of declining shipments, and it was the steepest decline for the region since Gartner began tracking the region. Ongoing economic uncertainties in Southern European countries resulted in lower spending in those markets. Similar to other regions, consumers’ interest continues to focus on smartphones and tablets, rather than PCs.

In Asia/Pacific, PC shipments totaled 27.6 million units in the first quarter of 2013, a 10.3 percent decline from the first quarter of 2012. This region also experienced its strongest decline since Gartner began tracking PC shipments. Asia/Pacific buyers remained cautious in spending amid a fragile economic environment. Both China and India experienced year-over-year shipment declines.

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

Source: Gartner, Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: Why waste your money on a truck when all you really need is a car?

When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks, because that’s what you needed on the farm. But as vehicles started to be used in the urban centers, cars got more popular. Innovations like automatic transmission and power steering and things that you didn’t care about in a truck as much started to become paramount in cars… PCs are going to be like trucks. They’re still going to be around, they’re still going to have a lot of value, but they’re going to be used by one out of X people. – Steve Jobs, June 1, 2010

MacDailyNews Note: IDC claims Apple Mac sales were down 7.5% in Q113. Gartner claims, “Nope. Up 7.4%.” Apple to report the actual number of Macs sold on April 23rd.

Related articles:
IDC: PC shipments post the steepest decline ever in a single quarter, down 13.9% in Q113 – April 10, 2013
Steve Jobs was right, of course: Tablets are cars and PCs are trucks – January 9, 2013


  1. One way for Apple to catch up with HP and Dell and gain market share is for the others to have their shipments drop. Perfect situation since Apple can maintain their margins.

    1. Excellent sales performance now that the iMacs are actually shipping!

      Most would contend that if Apple wants to maximize profit over the long term, it would at least temporarily accept lower margins on its Macs and lunge forward in market share while the disastrous Windows 8 opportunity is hot.

      Also, it would be a very good time to release a few new Mac models to replace the aging ones and fill in the enormous desktop gap between the Mac Mini and the Pro; or to close the huge price gap between the iPad Retina and the MacBook Air.

      Finally, I wonder aloud if Apple needs more production capacity. If so, why not use some of that cash to buy a factory or two from one of the “Others”, Toshiba, or Sony?

      1. Sorry Mike, but I have been in the business for a long time and that is not how things work. Demand is usually over a long period. If not its a flash in the pan and you usually lose money.

        A company loses money during its first sales as design, production startup, and other expenses are amortized over XX units of production. (yes you have to pay for design and startup unless you are sanding. Then you just steal. lol)

        As you get further into production, costs drop and you make your main profit. Sorry to say that companies prefer a longer sales / mfg – ing to a flash in the pan, sell millions and then none.

        Just a thought.

        1. I’m don’t think you’re addressing the same thing I am.

          For simplicity, lets just take a single product example. The Mac Mini is a mature product, tooling is paid for, and it’s making money. But like all Mac products it’s carved out only a tiny market share since it is a higher quality product with higher initial purchase price (and margin) than the competition.

          Now if Apple wants to substantially increase market share, it could run a summer promotion that bundles iWork for free with every Mac Mini, or perhaps gave a display discount with the purchase of every Mini. End result: Apple takes minimally lower margins, consumers recognize increased value, and Mac earns much more market share with practically no effort. Apple then earns significant more profit in the future when its switchover customers buy more Apple software and peripherals.

          But sadly it seems Cook doesn’t really care about Mac market share. His sole focus seems to be iOS devices (where Apple does implement more competitive pricing with lower margins).

          Even there, the market has correctly identified that Apple’s dominant market share in smartphones is being eroded primarily due to Cook’s shocking inability to unveil a full family of iPhones — it’s looking like the 1990s Mac story all over again.

          Apple should have leadership that is capable of managing its businesses – BOTH Mac and iOS — much more aggressively.

  2. Both sets of data have Apple for the first time (since ??) topping 10% of the market (by shipment numbers). Actual sales are probably better, more so for revenue, and profits are going to be a downright embarrassment for non-Apple mob.

  3. I wonder how much of the decline can be attributed to Windows 8, which manufacturers have been pretty much forced to foist upon customers. May Ballmer reign supreme over the decline of Microsoft and the PC market in general. For as long as it takes!

  4. Apple’s vision is to inflict joy on their customers.

    Microsoft’s vision is to inflict pain on their customers.

    Gee, I wonder if it’s rocket science to decipher whose customer base is deserting them in droves.

    Ballmer, you’re a genius.

      1. Now, when I talked to God I knew he’d understand
        He said, “Stick by me and I’ll be your guiding hand
        But don’t ask me what I think of you
        I might not give the answer that you want me to”

          — from “Oh Well” by Fleetwood Mac


  5. I love my iPhone/iPad to death, but I’m a little worried that I’m going to have to pay a ton more each year for a desktop computer just so I can make a living. We are still many years away from being able to use Adobe CS for a design project that has a ton of moving pieces and files. I’d imagine video editing and 3D programs are in the same boat.

  6. Did my part… well at least for the next quarter sales and financials, as I just received my 27″ iMac yesterday and now I have joined the 21st Century like the rest of you fine folk.

    Good bye ole friend, 24″ iMac Core 2 Duo with your blazing 2 GHz speeds and whopping 2 GB RAM, it’s been a great six and a half years… sniff, sniff…

      1. Actually I just bought a Power Mac G5(2004) dual, 1.8 ghz. I am putting a new DVD drive and a 1T HD. Adding multi usb card and external wi-fi for n speed but may change to airport just for the looks.

        It runs OS X.5 Lepoard just fine and is fun to play with.

        Apple, looks great, runs a L—–o—–n—- g time.

  7. I don’t see any worldwide market share on apple everytime when I read this kind of article. it is US only. but I know that number is pathetic you can’t compare with big makers. I assume that it would be around 4-5% all the time. mac sale is up? are you kidding me? it isn’t actually if you count worldwide share. how apple is desperating to show its growth? nowadays, worldwide share is not even closed to 4% due to bad economy. wake up. apple mac sale is not good for decades.

    1. We do realize what a long shot it is that we, as minorities, have even a slim chance against all the forces of mediocrity arrayed against us, which are without number. It is only human nature, not sheeplike behavior, that anyone would want validation for their beliefs. If we wake up tomorrow and the numbers are not in our favour, we still will privately hope for a better future. Only those who have already sold their souls and abandoned their dreams will give up and join the swelling army of conscienceless drones that threaten world peace.

  8. Unfortunately for Apple, the decline of the PC isn’t going to help Apple’s share price because Wall Street knows that the desktop PC is already irrelevant, so even if Apple ships more Macs it won’t prove that Apple has a future because it will only be supplying more desktop computers to a dying industry. It’s rather amusing how all those companies that are losing PC sales were saying a couple of years ago that the tablet was just a temporary device and everyone would be returning back to Windows computers within a short period of time. Things don’t look too good for those companies now. Apple is riding a crest but it still isn’t selling enough tablets to increase its revenue significantly. Everything else Apple has is still small potatoes to the iPhone’s revenue stream.

    Apple just can’t seem to catch a break. If it weren’t for Android, Apple might have been considered as a long-dominant company with a bright future instead of being perceived as doomed company struggling for a niche spot in an almost impossibly huge number of Android devices. I guess it’s just bad timing that as Windows OS desktop numbers decrease, Android OS smartphones numbers increased immensely.

    1. “Wall Street knows that the desktop PC is already irrelevant …”

      Your problem is that you are hung up on a temporary and illogical drop in a stock price, to the point where what you say makes no sense.

      The tech world has changed from the PC toward mobile devices, and which company is it that has the overwhelming share of profits from mobile devices?

  9. Interestingly, IDC appear to have turned Apple’s share in to a -7.5% decline for 1Q13.
    It must be noted that both of these are *preliminary* or *estimates*.

    1. EXACT:LY!

      Back in the “Dark Days” of Apple both Gartner and IDC repeatedly, each and every quarter, would declare large drops in year over year and quarter over quarter with regard to Mac sales. Some people investigated what was really going on. Here’s the reality of what these companies do:
      1. Right after the end of a quarter they make estimates of what was shipped based upon phone calls to a few “trusted sources”.
      2. After the companies post their real shipments (or after the channels post their real shipments if the computer companies don’t post numbers themselves, e.g., some non U.S. companies).
      3. Gartner and IDC revise their shipped units numbers based upon data from #2.
      4. The published year over year and quarter over quarter over quarter numbers are based upon comparing the most recent #1 numbers with the previous year’s or quarter’s #3 numbers.
      5. As the case in the “Dark Days” of Apple, the comparison of the much more accurate updated/correct #3 numbers for the most recent quarter withe the #3 numbers from the prior year or prior quarter can give *VASTLY* different results. (In the case of Apple during the “Dark Days” this difference sometimes turned a HUGE decline in sales to an almost break even.)

      So, YES, these are “guesstimates” by both Gartner and IDC at this point. Unfortunately, unless you’re a paying customer of these two you’re unlikely to see the updated/corrected numbers until this time next year. When they compare next years guesses to this year’s updated/corrected numbers.

  10. PCs aren’t going anywhere. IDC and Gartner constantly fighting for attention. Look at both of them at odds: Apple sales down. No, Apple sales up! What bullshit.

    Did all of you know that total mobile phone sales last year were down year-over-year? Now, smartphone sales grew but still… sales go up, sales go down. Business cycles.

    This could be more a reflection of the economy than anything else.

    However, I do see less need for upgrading PCs since you can pretty much get by with a 5 year old computer today. And perhaps that’s part of what we’re seeing.

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