Windows XP deadline provides silver lining to slumping PC market

PC shipments fell by 7.6 percent during Q3, performing better than IDC's original projection of a 9.5 percent drop

The PC market remained weak in the third quarter, but the expiration of Microsoft's support for Windows XP in April next year may have prompted users to look at upgrades, which eased the slump.

About 81.6 million PCs shipped during the third quarter this year, falling by 7.6 percent compared with the same quarter last year, according to research released on Wednesday by IDC. The company earlier projected a decline of 9.5 percent during the quarter.

Business purchases boosted PC shipments, and enterprises are considering upgrades to Windows 7 as support for XP nears an end, said Jay Chou, senior research analyst at IDC.

"There was a consumer upgrade cycle that is not happening right now," Chou said. "The commercial cycle is different... we are seeing more businesses, and to some extent public sector firms, that have PC upgrade projects."

There is a big upgrade cycle under way in Japan, "where there's a higher installed base running XP," Chou said.

PC makers are urging users to upgrade laptops before support expires for XP. Business laptops are being offered with the popular Windows 7 or the touch-centric Windows 8, which has not sold well.

PC makers in the U.S. also stocked up on computers with Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8.1, with products expected to ship later this month. Windows 8.1 has more features, such as the "Start" button, that make it a more palatable OS than Windows 8, and the price of touchscreen laptops also is falling, Chou said.

The growing adoption of smartphones and tablets as computing devices also contributed to the decline in PC shipments, Chou said.

Economic indicators are improving in some regions, including the U.S., but the PC market has by no means recovered, Chou said. Shipments will decline through the end of 2014, after which recovery may start, Chou said.

Lenovo remained the top PC maker, followed by Hewlett-Packard and Dell, and the companies recorded slight growth in shipments. Acer and Asus rounded out the top-five list. Those vendors recorded sharp PC shipment declines of 34.5 percent and 34.1 percent, respectively.

Lenovo's shipments totaled 14.1 million units during the third quarter, growing by 2.2 percent, and the company had a 17.3 percent market share. HP's shipments totaled 13.99 million units, growing by 0.4 percent, for a 17.1 percent market share. Dell's shipments totaled 9.52 million units, growing by 0.3 percent, for an 11.7 percent market share.

PC shipments for HP and Dell had been declining in the past few quarters. But a strong U.S. market and strong product offerings have helped the companies rebound, Chou said.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags acerDellIDCHewlett-PackardLenovohardware systemslaptopsdesktop pcsAsustek Computer

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

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?