Apple iPad, other tablets, blunt Q4 PC sales

Gartner says sales to enterprises start to rebound while consumer PC business slows

Tablets like Apple's iPad are taking a toll on an already battered PC market.

Largely echoing an IDC report released Wednesday, Gartner researchers said fourth quarter PC sales were weaker than expected. The research firm lays the blame at the feet of a burgeoning tablet business.

"Overall, holiday PC sales were weak in many key regions due to the intensifying competition in consumer spending," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, in a statement. "Media tablets, such as the iPad, as well as other consumer electronic devices, such as game consoles, all competed against PCs."

The report did find good PC news in the enterprise sector.

Gartner said that there was steady growth in the enterprise market because corporate executives finally loosened the purse strings for PC upgrades after putting off big purchases in the midst of a bad recession.

Sales of replacement machines pushed the PC market into a recovery, noted Kitagawa. "However, the PC market will face challenges going forward with more intensified competition among consumer spending," he added.

Gartner reported that global PC shipments totaled 93.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2010, up 3.1 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2009. Gartner had earlier forcast 4.8 per cent growth for the period.

In it's report, IDC reported PC shipments of 92.1 million units worldwide during the fourth quarter, an increase of 2.7 per cent from the year-earlier period. IDC had earlier projected fourth quarter growth of 5.5 per cent.

IDC and Gartner both reported that HP maintained its leadership in the worldwide PC business in the fourth quarter, even as its shipments fell from 17,786,986 in the 2009 period to 17,581,525 in the last quarter.

Like the rest of PC market, HP had solid enterprise sales while U.S. consumer sales were weak, Gartner noted.

Second-place Acer also was plagued by a PC slowdown in the consumer space.

Dell, with a bigger presence in corporate offices and less in the consumer market, benefitted by the enterprise refresh in the fourth quarter with a sales increase of 3.9 per cent. Dell finished in third place, Gartner said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags hardwareAppleGartnerIT industryIDChardware systemsdesktop pcsPCs

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?