In Q1 2014, the worldwide PC market experienced just 5 percent growth year-over-year to 123.7 million units, if you take into consideration desktops, laptops, and tablets. Tablet shipments grew a notably smaller 21 percent year-over-year to 50.8 million units, but still accounted for 41 percent of the market, while laptops had 38 percent. Meanwhile, the worldwide decline in laptops slowed to 7 percent and desktops remained flat.
The latest estimates come from Canalys, an independent analyst firm which noted commercial shipments worldwide were lifted by the end of support for Windows XP, giving both laptops and desktops a much-needed boost. OEMs that sell Windows devices aside, however, Apple still remained its lead:
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Apple managed to maintain its lead despite iPad shipments in Q1 2014 (80 percent of its total PC shipments) falling 16 percent year-over-year to 16.4 million units. Apple’s iPad shipments dropped by 40 percent in the US, offset somewhat by 20 percent growth in China, the company’s second largest market. Nevertheless, the company’s share of the overall market fell both sequentially and year-over-year from 20 percent to 17 percent.
“The fall in iPad shipments in Q1 was the sharpest ever,” Canalys Senior Analyst Tim Coulling said in a statement. “Apple took action during the quarter to run down its iPad inventory, a smart move as tablet stock in the channel rose due to strong seasonal shipments in the previous quarter. Longer term, we do not believe Apple’s Q1 performance points to a decline in the tablet category, despite growing pressure from larger-screen smart phones. Consumers, and increasingly businesses, are continuing to adapt, with tablets acting as disruptors and finding their place as desktop and notebook replacements.”
Lenovo fared better, increasing its PC market share from 10 percent to 12 percent with 15.0 million units shipped. The Chinese company saw solid annual growth in all PC categories, managing to grab first, second, and third in the laptop, desktop, and tablet markets, respectively.
“Lenovo was quick to move with new form factors and its Yoga line now dominates the global convertible notebook market,” Canalys Analyst James Wang said in a statement. “In addition, it has diversified its tablet portfolio and has product SKUs in all key market segments. Unlike Apple, with its ‘one size fits all’ tablet strategy, Lenovo and others are free to tailor tablets to specific market segments. The tablet form factor is well liked by both young and old consumers; product customization can be beneficial in both cases.”
Meanwhile, Samsung’s PC shipments suffered and it fell to fourth place. This allowed HP to regain third place, with shipments of 12.9 million units, giving it an 11 percent share of the PC market.
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