updated 06:40 pm EDT, Thu July 16, 2009
Gartner preliminary report
Worldwide PC shipments have declined by five percent in the second quarter of the year, according to preliminary data gathered by the research firm Gartner. The market did perform better than the previous forecast of a 9.8-percent decline, however. The research company also believes re-stocking has slowed, after playing a major role in shipment growth for the first quarter. According to the results, Apple was able to maintain its fourth-place ranking in U.S. shipments, with an 8.7-percent market share, while growing 2.5-percent compared to the second quarter of last year. Apple's market share also showed a significant increase from last quarter.
The market share leader, Hewlett-Packard, showed shipment growth of 2.8 percent while the worldwide slid by five percent. Dell and Acer effectively tied for second position in global market share with 13.5 percent. Dell's share was expected to be greater than Acer's, due to the brand's larger product coverage. Acer, however, showed a 34-percent gain in shipments, while Dell sales declined by 17 percent.
U.S. PC shipments totaled 16.4 million units, a 1.2-percent decline from the same period last year, but still beat Gartner's forecast of a 12-percent drop. Desktop PC sales have continued to slow, while notebook shipments have grown by approximately 20 percent. Dell was able to slightly pull ahead of Hewlett-Packard in the U.S. market, reclaiming the number one spot at 26 percent. Gartner analysts believe that Dell's strategy was to defend its market share instead of focusing on protecting its margins.
PC shipments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) declined by 10.9 percent, totaling only 20.6 million units. Customer demand dipped in Germany and France, while Central Eastern Europe fell by 30-percent and pulled the overall average down. Shipments in the Asia-Pacific region increased by 2.3 percent from last year's quarter. The growth was primarily driven by demand in China, which grew 7 percent.
Shipments in Japan also showed a 3.2 percent decline to 3.4 million units. The lull is believed to be due to lumbering demand from the Japanese corporate segment caused by the recession. The consumer segment maintained its growth rate from the same period last year.
Despite shipments avoiding the forecast of a 12-percent drop in the U.S., other research groups, such as iSuppli, still anticipate a considerable drop in domestic PC sales for the entire year. Profit margins have continued to shrink at an even faster rate, potentially slashing revenues even if the shipments remain level. Apple is so far one of the few companies to avoid the margin collapse, as it has maintained fairly level average selling prices (ASPs) even through the economic recession.