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IDC: PC shipments see steepest quarterly decline ever, Apple drops 7.5% [u]

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
Estimates from market analysis firm IDC released on Wednesday show the overall PC market declined 13.9 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2013, the worst single-quarter slip on record.

Update: This article now includes numbers from Gartner, which were also published today. Interestingly, the firm's estimates conflict with IDC's preliminaries, especially regarding Apple's shipments, which Gartner found to have grown during the first quarter.

According to data from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, the nearly 14 percent fall is almost twice what was expected for the sector. This is the fourth consecutive quarter of declines.

The U.S. saw 14.2 million combined shipments as the PC market continued to free-fall in quarter one, declining 12.7 percent year-to-year on . The contraction represents a 18.3 percent sequential drop compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. Total shipments reached 2006 levels, making the first three months of 2013 the tenth straight quarter of year-on-year declines, not counting a brief reprieve in the third quarter of 2011 that saw less than 2 percent growth.

Preliminary estimates had Apple at 1.4 million units shipped, netting the company 10 percent of the U.S. market in the first quarter, a 7.5 percent drop from the same period in 2012. The performance allowed Apple to hold on to third place behind HP and Dell. While the Cupertino company performed slightly better than other OEMs in the U.S., the company was a victim of steep competition from its own iPad, IDC said.

The two front runners were hit hardest with massive U.S. shipment contractions of 22.9 percent for HP and 14.4 percent for Dell. Number one HP managed to keep its position on over 3.5 million units shipped, but Dell closed the gap with just over 3 million shipments. Worldwide, HP suffered 23.7 percent negative growth year over year due to internal restructuring.

Following the top three were Toshiba and Lenovo, the latter being the only manufacturer to post positive growth in the U.S. during the three-month period, saw decent gains of 13 percent. Asia/Pacific shipments for the company declined, however, leveling out the firm's overall growth. HP and Lenovo were neck and neck for worldwide shipments, separated by less than 300,000 units.

PC Estimates
U.S. shipments in thousands of units. | Source: IDC

Interestingly, the launch of Microsoft's Windows 8 didn't help shipments, and according to IDC, actually kneecapped the segment.

"At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market," said Bob O'Donnell, IDC Program Vice President, Clients and Displays. "While some consumers appreciate the new form factors and touch capabilities of Windows 8, the radical changes to the UI, removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices. Microsoft will have to make some very tough decisions moving forward if it wants to help reinvigorate the PC market."

O'Donnell referenced the poor adoption rate of the newest Windows operating system, which contributed to significant shipment drops across all regions compared to the same quarter in 2012. The lackluster reception of Windows 8 was not fully to blame for the decline, however, as traditional barriers of price and supply held back manufacturer attempts to revitalize the sector with "Ultrabooks" and other innovations. The efforts appear to be largely unsuccessful, with consumers finding the upgrades too clunky or too costly to warrant a purchase.

Gartner Estimates



Gartner has also issued their own PC shipment estimates for the first quarter of 2013, and while the numbers are mostly in line with IDC, the firm has grossly different data for Apple

While IDC estimated Apple's growth to have atrophied 7.5 percent year to year, Gartner noted in its report that the company actually saw positive U.S. growth of 7.4 percent. By comparison, Gartner estimated that Apple shipped over 1.65 million Macs for the quarter, a 230,000 unit disparity from IDC's findings.

Gartner PC Estimates
U.S. shipments in thousands of units. | Source: Gartner


Interestingly, the firm's estimates relating to the other top-five vendors are similar to IDC's, including the overall rankings for the companies. The exact numbers, however, were somewhat different. For example, as noted above, HP and Lenovo were in almost tied for the top position worldwide, but Gartner had the U.S. company outperforming by about 20,000 units compared to IDC's nearly 300,000 units.
post #2 of 49

Perhaps Moore's law of speed doubling has finally surpassed people's need for faster computers. Even a five year old computer is plenty fast enough for many consumers. Plus, there is no compelling reason for upgrading to anything beyond XP on Windows and even many Mac users are content with SL. Then of course there is the iPad factor.

 

Economic conditions aren't helping either.

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post #3 of 49
Assuming these estimates are accurate it's hard to argue that we're not in a Post-PC era.

Another takeaway is that it shows Apple increasing its marketshare to double digits. Perhaps not significant by itself but when you consider that around 5% Apple had over 90% of the $1000 and up market and was taking 1/3rd of the market's profits. Those ratios are likely higher now.

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post #4 of 49
It's a good thing Apple releases their internal information to the IDC so we know we can trust their figures.
post #5 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

It's a good thing Apple releases their internal information to the IDC so we know we can trust their figures.

He he! :)

post #6 of 49
Ok I'm confused. iMac is selling well but Apple's Mac sales are down. Teens love iPhone and its selling well, but Apple's suppliers are making way less money because no one is buying iPhones. iPhone 5 is a hit but it's a flop.

Which is it please? Is Apple doing well or crashing?
post #7 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Assuming these estimates are accurate it's hard to argue that we're not in a Post-PC era.

Remember Q1 for Apple is when they didn't have the iMac for sale so that's about 1.2m units worldwide. Apple reports their worldwide figures here:

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2013/01/23Apple-Reports-Record-Results.html

With that factored in, Apple would probably show a slight growth over last year. The report coming in a couple of weeks will be more reliable.
post #8 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Assuming these estimates are accurate it's hard to argue that we're not in a Post-PC era.
...

 

And the general foolishness of a report about PC sales that doesn't include tablets.  

post #9 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Assuming these estimates are accurate it's hard to argue that we're not in a Post-PC era.
 

As long as it doesn't turn into a post-Ballmer era, Apple will continue to have no real competition going forward. Apple is great, but having monkey boy at the helm of the good ship Microsoft makes it even better. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Another takeaway is that it shows Apple increasing its marketshare to double digits. Perhaps not significant by itself but when you consider that around 5% Apple had over 90% of the $1000 and up market and was taking 1/3rd of the market's profits. Those ratios are likely higher now.

I agree. It does make my head spin to see the good old names of HP and Dell floundering on the rocks. How the once strong have lost their shine while Apple has surged is dumbfounding!

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post #10 of 49
Lenovo's numbers are down. Missing a minus sign somewhere?

1274-1127=147

I am recovering from the flu so excuse me if I am wrong.
post #11 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeoco View Post

Lenovo's numbers are down. Missing a minus sign somewhere?

1274-1127=147

I am recovering from the flu so excuse me if I am wrong.

1127 is under the 1Q12 column. That number relates to the prior year.

post #12 of 49

As a prior poster noted, an iMac that's a few years old is plenty fast. What's really going to spike sales is when Apple converts their entire laptop and iMac lines to retina displays. When they do, even us nerds who have been sitting on the fence will upgrade.

 

We all know it's coming. That will be the one killer feature that will compel many to lay out their credit cards.

post #13 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


Remember Q1 for Apple is when they didn't have the iMac for sale so that's about 1.2m units worldwide. Apple reports their worldwide figures here:

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2013/01/23Apple-Reports-Record-Results.html

With that factored in, Apple would probably show a slight growth over last year. The report coming in a couple of weeks will be more reliable.

 

Apple's Q1 is Oct-Dec, IDC is talking about Jan-Mar (what Apple calls Q2 and hasn't reported yet). These are estimates.

post #14 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Estimates from market analysis firm IDC released on Wednesday show the overall PC market declined 13.9 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2013, the worst single-quarter slip on record.

Update: This article now includes numbers from Gartner, which were also published today. Interestingly, the firm's estimates conflict with IDC's preliminaries, especially regarding Apple's shipments, which Gartner found to have grown during the first quarter.

What's so interesting about it? IDC has been far more pessimistic in their projections for Apple than Gartner for years.

Gartner has, however, been more accurate.
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post #15 of 49
IDC is off its rocker. All material demands in the Semiconductor industry are up > 12%. DDR3/DDR5 RAM is jumping massively, including power supplies, and other PC Parts. How come? Parts constraints due to underestimating demands and flushing out remaining components.

http://www.electroiq.com/articles/sst/2013/01/idc-semiconductor-revenues-will-grow-in-2013.html

IDC is projecting under the delusion that consumers are embracing the cloud and all they need is higher speed internet connectivity, embedded space gadgets and the cloud.

Apple will once again come along and show how their idea of the cloud will be a local/remote collaborative environment with the home having their own iCloud for the Mac Ecosystem and the iCloud global data centers for remote cloud which can also tie into the home icloud via a ssh connection and WebDAV.

People are investing in their streaming libraries of content purchased and they don't have the bandwidth to offload it to the global cloud and leave it hanging in data centers.

Corporations want a local/remote relationship, not an either/or relationship.

Apple will lead and everyone else will be a me too.
post #16 of 49
Oh, my.

Well, AAPL will probably be hammered tomorrow, because...

Well, just because. It's a computer company, isn't it?
post #17 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Perhaps Moore's law of speed doubling has finally surpassed people's need for faster computers. Even a five year old computer is plenty fast enough for many consumers. Plus, there is no compelling reason for upgrading to anything beyond XP on Windows and even many Mac users are content with SL. Then of course there is the iPad factor.

 

Economic conditions aren't helping either.


A couple years ago, I would have been onboard with you about WindowsXP.  Windows7 is now my standard.  I keep WinXP on a virtual machine simply for those archaic apps that can't go beyond that.

I can't ever fathom going back to XP.  Windows7 is by far the best one to use.  Windows 8 is the new Vista.  It's nowhere near ready for enterprise use.

post #18 of 49

Aww crap, this just makes my head hurt.

 

Everything is just anybody's guess. Leave it at that.

(I guess?)

post #19 of 49
I have to doubt the reports of a huge collapse in Apples Mac shipments for the quarter. This is mainly due to the fact that they where servicing a lot of pent up demand for the iMac this quarter. Next quarter may be another story. The one curve ball here is in laptops which it appears that Apple is having troubles with. The laptops of course being a problem that Apple made for themselves.

Frankly I'm still predicting the return of the desktop machine. The fact is that for many of us the iPad is a portable computer that is good enough. That doesn't replace the need for a more traditional computing environment though which is where a decent desktop machine could shine. As iPad comes into its own it will be very interesting to see if there is an uptick in the percentage of desktop sales.
post #20 of 49
Doesn't IDC just make up numbers? Anyone have their past projections for this quarter?
post #21 of 49

As long as Apple is putting laptop drives into their iMacs I won't be interested in them.

 

I think the desktop business will be almost dead before Apple has a chance to be the sales leader in it. The smart phones and tablets are increasing in capabilities so fast that desktops won't be needed for office work. I had hoped to see the day when Microsoft was kaput and Apple ruled the office. It might happen but with portable devices instead of desktop machines.

 

Windows 8 is the new Vista. I like the sound of that. Microsoft will just have to become a gaming console company that makes software for iOS and Android devices.

 

I fiddled with a Windows 8 laptop a couple of days ago. Without having instructions to operate it the thing seemed cumbersome. I'm the type of person who would read the manual. Windows 8 might be OK but until I must work with it I'll defer to the majority of opinions about it.

post #22 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

As long as Apple is putting laptop drives into their iMacs I won't be interested in them.

I don't see many laptops with 3.5" drives. Are you talking about the SSD card that you can get for Fusion Drive along with the 27" iMac?

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post #23 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Assuming these estimates are accurate it's hard to argue that we're not in a Post-PC era.

Another takeaway is that it shows Apple increasing its marketshare to double digits. Perhaps not significant by itself but when you consider that around 5% Apple had over 90% of the $1000 and up market and was taking 1/3rd of the market's profits. Those ratios are likely higher now.

My exact thoughts. Be it smart smart phones, tablets or computers Apple are creaming all those the market's profits, shame Wall Street doesn't get it.
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post #24 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by 512ke View Post

Ok I'm confused. iMac is selling well but Apple's Mac sales are down. Teens love iPhone and its selling well, but Apple's suppliers are making way less money because no one is buying iPhones. iPhone 5 is a hit but it's a flop.

Which is it please? Is Apple doing well or crashing?

 

A chimpanzee throwing a dart at a dartboard best describes what these reports tell us. It's all guesswork, prognostication, crystal ball gazing, tea leaf reading, throwing chicken bones, phrenology, astrology, and voodoo. Because none of these so-called experts and analysts suffer any consequences for being wrong they are free to come up with as much weird crap as they want to, whenever they want to... and someone pays them for doing it too. 

 

There was a troll on Usenet for years by the name of Tom Elam that claimed to go into CompUSA stores and count the Mac boxes on the shelves from day to day. He would then make predictions of Apple's imminent doom based on his daily counts. Dell was his White Knight in shining armor who was going to put the final nail in Apple's coffin. I rest my case.

post #25 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


A couple years ago, I would have been onboard with you about WindowsXP.  Windows7 is now my standard.  I keep WinXP on a virtual machine simply for those archaic apps that can't go beyond that.


I can't ever fathom going back to XP.  Windows7 is by far the best one to use.  Windows 8 is the new Vista.  It's nowhere near ready for enterprise use.

Windows 8 is MS's death knell.
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post #26 of 49

"Is Apple doing well or crashing?"

 

Yes.

post #27 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Perhaps Moore's law of speed doubling has finally surpassed people's need for faster computers. Even a five year old computer is plenty fast enough for many consumers. Plus, there is no compelling reason for upgrading to anything beyond XP on Windows and even many Mac users are content with SL. Then of course there is the iPad factor.

Economic conditions aren't helping either.

I've been saying that for over a year now. A decade or two ago, people were constantly asking for faster computers. Even if you bought a top of the line computer, it would only take a couple of years before it felt slow because software demands kept growing.

For the past few years, even entry level computers are more than fast enough for most people - and will remain so for quite a while. Software demands seem to have leveled off while computer speeds have continued to increase. And, of course, for many people, Facebook and email is the extent of their computing needs, so even the most basic computer can keep up. Thus, it's far more common for people to be content with 3-5 year old computers than it was a decade ago. Thus, annual replacements are down, resulting in lower annual sales.

On top of that, you have market saturation. My daughter and I have 4 computers in the house (or 7 if you count smartphones and tablets). We don't need any more.

And, of course, economic conditions don't help, but I don't see that as the major factor.
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post #28 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Perhaps Moore's law of speed doubling has finally surpassed people's need for faster computers. Even a five year old computer is plenty fast enough for many consumers.

 

 

It's less about speed vs the name of the computing game has changed.  It's not Moore's Law... We are now seeing the end effects of Metcalf's law... the value of connecting to the network increases exponentially to the number of people connected.  However, 'EVERYONE' is connected now who has any interest in being connected.   

 

A new law will need to be constructed that as price per Mbps drops YY, there is a XX increase in need to process the data that is passing to the endpoint.

I don't need a faster computer until there is a killer app that drives me to buy a faster computer, and that app is fed by data coming from the network.

 

In short.  Everyone has 3 computers now... home, work, and mobile.   It's saturated.  And until there is a faster network (e.g.  LTE availability spurs a growth in iPhone 5 and iPad 4 purchases), there the market is fully sated.

 

Quote:

Plus, there is no compelling reason for upgrading to anything beyond XP on Windows and even many Mac users are content with SL. Then of course there is the iPad factor.

 

Economic conditions aren't helping either.

 Economic conditions are driving the iPad factor in the enterprise.  Enterprise's drive the PC market turnover, and most haven't upgraded to Win7, let alone 8.  3 year old Laptops that were purchased for eventual Win7 upgrades are being repurposed as desktops, replacing 5 year old devices,, and iPads are being deployed as remote access devices.

post #29 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

Apple's Q1 is Oct-Dec, IDC is talking about Jan-Mar (what Apple calls Q2 and hasn't reported yet). These are estimates.

Ah, these always get mixed up. They need to start using something like Q1f and Q1c to distinguish fiscal and calendar quarters.
post #30 of 49

You see Ballmer.. labeling everything "Windows" will not help your numbers.

post #31 of 49
Yet Apple still outperformed the market. No surprise there.

Of course, only Apple has the full answer to the Post-PC "crisis":

iPad.
post #32 of 49
"This article now includes numbers from Gartner, which were also published today. Interestingly, the firm's estimates conflict with IDC's preliminaries, especially regarding Apple's shipments, which Gartner found to have grown during the first quarter. "

What a surprise another lowball estimate from IDC. Every time this company brings out a Survey they always lowball Apple.
post #33 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

As long as it doesn't turn into a post-Ballmer era, Apple will continue to have no real competition going forward. Apple is great, but having monkey boy at the helm of the good ship Microsoft makes it even better. 

I agree. It does make my head spin to see the good old names of HP and Dell floundering on the rocks. How the once strong have lost their shine while Apple has surged is dumbfounding!

HP had it written on the wall for a while - since they got that uncanny German guy for CEO at least. Most their laptops today, even premium ones from Envy line, come by default with 720p crappy screens. Some even don't have an option for screen upgrade, at least not in all parts of the world (like in New Zealand).

On the other hand, there is a reason why Lenovo is fastest growing market share among computer manufacturers. Their product line is simply better than Dell's and HP's. Where those are stagnating and offering old technologies with small refreshments in form of faster CPUs etc, Lenovo is actually offering great range that covers pretty much everything - from tablets and premium Ultrabooks, fully featured ultraportables with focus on what matters (like x230, 12" iCore with 10 hours battery and optional IPS screens) to good multimedia and gaming units. And it shows. There are other bright spots, though not major - I think Asus also did well in the last year relative to their previous years, but they are still among "others".

I don't think this is about declining PC sales, or at least not exclusively; it is more about manufacturers not giving enough reasons for customers to upgrade. Like someone already noticed, 3 years old machines with Core2 technology are still fast enough to cover majority of customers' needs. I was using Core 2 Quad system for almost 4 years and would still be using it, hasn't my wife's PC died and gave me reason to build a new one while my wife got that Core 2 Quad system.

Mix that with current economy, and bingo.

But is that post-PC era? I'd think of such era as time where people don't use PCs any more, moving their digital life completely to phones and tablets. What we have here is people not buying new PCs, not people ditching their PCs for good and not looking back. Honestly, I haven't noticed decline of number of PCs in homes, and definitely not in business. Yes refresh cycles are getting longer, but PCs are still there. In fact, we have strong trend of our customers moving to dual-display configurations in masses, both for desktops and docked laptops. Dual screens are more common in homes as well, though not as much. Even if they are not replacing them, people are using their PCs more than they used to, not less.

Are these stats reflecting consumer sales only, or complete sales, btw?
post #34 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

IDC is off its rocker. All material demands in the Semiconductor industry are up > 12%. DDR3/DDR5 RAM is jumping massively, including power supplies, and other PC Parts. How come? Parts constraints due to underestimating demands and flushing out remaining components.

 

One word, server farms for all the iPads.

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post #35 of 49
Why doesn't the title of the article reflect the change?
post #36 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I have to doubt the reports of a huge collapse in Apples Mac shipments for the quarter. This is mainly due to the fact that they where servicing a lot of pent up demand for the iMac this quarter. Next quarter may be another story. The one curve ball here is in laptops which it appears that Apple is having troubles with. The laptops of course being a problem that Apple made for themselves.

What are you talking about regarding Apple and laptops? From what I've heard Apple is doing quite well in the top-end and ultrabook categories.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Frankly I'm still predicting the return of the desktop machine. The fact is that for many of us the iPad is a portable computer that is good enough. That doesn't replace the need for a more traditional computing environment though which is where a decent desktop machine could shine. As iPad comes into its own it will be very interesting to see if there is an uptick in the percentage of desktop sales.

There will always be desktop computers to some degree in the enterprise environments. However, a good laptop is as much as a household needs... especially if it can be bluetoothed up to a large monitor/TV when needed. It's a cordless world!!!

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post #37 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

HP had it written on the wall for a while - since they got that uncanny German guy for CEO at least. Most their laptops today, even premium ones from Envy line, come by default with 720p crappy screens. Some even don't have an option for screen upgrade, at least not in all parts of the world (like in New Zealand).

I can't speak for New Zealand, but in the US, a number of HP laptops have 'full HD'. For example:
http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Laptops/HP-ENVY/C2L40UA?HP-ENVY-dv6-7214nr-Notebook-PC
http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Laptops/HP-ENVY/C2H77UA?HP-ENVY-dv7-7212nr-Notebook-PC
http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Laptops/HP-Spectre/C2M71UA?HP-Spectre-XT-TouchSmart-15-4010nr-Ultrabook

Heck, even my older HP Probook 4730s had a 1600x900 screen which is far better than your claim of 'crappy 720p screens' (I upgraded the screen to full HD which wasn't hard to do, either).

Sure, if you buy the $399 specials, they're going to have crappy screens, but that doesn't mean ALL their computers are junk.
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post #38 of 49
Its becoming obvious to me, that several companies seem to have their PR people hard at work. The only numbers to trust are what comes out in the earnings reports, and sell throughs. Too many differing numbers from these surveys. BTW, did anyone else notice that they blamed Foxcon's numbers on Apple, when HP's and Dell's computers are also made there? We all know how well those PC's and their tablets are selling.
post #39 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkevwill View Post

Its becoming obvious to me, that several companies seem to have their PR people hard at work. The only numbers to trust are what comes out in the earnings reports, and sell throughs. Too many differing numbers from these surveys. BTW, did anyone else notice that they blamed Foxcon's numbers on Apple, when HP's and Dell's computers are also made there? We all know how well those PC's and their tablets are selling.

Read that report again please:

"The 19 percent year-over-year decline was attributed to "disappointing demand for the iPhone" in the report published on Wednesday."
post #40 of 49

Anyone else see this as a minus-sign error?

 

:-P

 

Almost serious, look how close all the other #s are.  Very weird.

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