Global PC sales dampened by consumer slowdown

Global PC shipments grew just 7.6% in Q3, falling short of analysts estimates as the boom in consumer demand for portables fizzled out in the mature markets. Industry watcher Gartner previously predicted growth of 12.7% but prinicpal analyst Mikako Kitigawa attributed much of the shortfall to a slo

Global PC shipments grew just 7.6% in Q3, falling short of analysts estimates as the boom in consumer demand for portables fizzled out in the mature markets.

Industry watcher Gartner previously predicted growth of 12.7% but prinicpal analyst Mikako Kitigawa attributed much of the shortfall to a slowdown in Western Europe and the US.

"Consumer mobile PC demand, driven by low-priced notebooks, including mini-notebooks, slowed after very strong growth [over] the past two years," he said.

Only recently Intel pointed to softening demand in the PC market and forecast more modest revenues for the final three months of the year.

Around 17.6 million PCs were shipped in the US, up 2.2% on last year, with Gartner suggesting the hype generated by Apple's iPad may have caused some consumers to delay purchases.

"Hype around media tablets had led consumers and the channels to take a 'wait and see' approach to buying a new device," said Kitigawa.

Sales in EMEA totalled 27.3 millon units, up 7.3% on the back of strong shipments in central and Eastern Europe. Consumers and professional buyers in Western Europe held off spending, the analyst said.

The Asia Pacific region grew 10.5% to 29.7 million units, underpinned by growth in mainstream notebooks. 

HP sales dipped 0.5% but it continued to hold the number one spot in the global market, while second placed Acer saw sales decline 1.7%.

The consumer slowdown clearly demonstrated Acer's reliance on the sector, as this was the first time in more than five years that Taiwanese giant grew at anything less than double digits.

Dell grew above the market average at 9.2% and Lenovo's resurgence on the global stage continued with unit rises of 33%.

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