Industry watcher Gartner has announced its latest figures for the global PC market, showing a continued drop in shipments for the fifth quarter in a row - unheard of since its records began.

According to Gartner's latest research, all regions globally are seeing a continued slip in shipments as consumers fail to upgrade or spend their cash on alternative products than the traditional desktop or laptop. The Asia/Pacific market fared worst, with its fifth consecutive quarterly drop, while Europe, the Middles East and Africa (EMEA) fared somewhat better with just two consecutive quarters of double-digit decline.

'We are seeing the PC market reduction directly tied to the shrinking installed base of PCs, as inexpensive tablets displace the low-end machines used primarily for consumption in mature and developed markets,' claimed Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, of his research. 'In emerging markets, inexpensive tablets have become the first computing device for many people, who at best are deferring the purchase of a PC. This is also accounting for the collapse of the mini notebook market.'

Overall, the market for desktops, laptops and netbooks shrank a whopping 10.9 per cent in the last quarter compared to the same quarter last year: global shipments are down to 76,000,986 compared to 85,324,591 a year ago. Particularly badly hit were Asus and Acer, who Gartner claims have seen a 20.5 and 35.3 per cent slip in shipments respectively. Traditional box-shifters Dell and HP, meanwhile, have been somewhat insulated from the effects with a 3.9 and 4.8 per cent drop in shipments respectively.

The big winner, if a loss can ever be termed that, is Lenovo: as with previous reports, Lenovo continues to ride the slump well with a mere 0.6 per cent drop in shipments year-on-year. While its market share has dropped from 16.7 per cent to 14.9 per cent - allowing HP, with 15.3 per cent, to regain first place once more - the company is seeing its shipment figures hold steady while its competitors face decline.

'While Windows 8 has been blamed by some as the reason for the PC market’s decline,' Kitagawa added of the report, 'we believe this is unfounded as it does not explain the sustained decline in PC shipments, nor does it explain Apple’s market performance.' The latter is in reference to news that Apple, which has been unaffected by consumer disinterest in Windows 8 for reasons that should be obvious, will at best post no growth in its financial filing at the end of the year.

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