This article is part of our Essential Guide: Essential guide to desktop and laptop solid-state drives

PC shipments remain steady as market segments shift

PC sales in the third quarter of 2014 declined by just 0.5% year-on-year according to research firm Gartner

PC sales in the third quarter of 2014 declined by just 0.5% year-on-year according to research firm Gartner.

Shipments reached 79.4 million units worldwide in the third quarter of this year, as lower figures in emerging markets level growth in mature regions according to Gartner’s preliminary results.

Analyst at Gartner, Mikako Kitagawa, said the increase in sales in Western markets could mean the PC industry is gradually recovering.

Kitagawa said: “Consumers’ attention is slowly moving back to PC purchases as tablet adoption peaked with mainstream consumers. The transition from PCs to tablets has faded as tablet penetration has reached the 40-50% range.”

Gartner’s results found that the emerging market is nearing saturation, with those who can afford PCs already own them, and opting for cheap supplementary tablet devices as opposed to PC upgrades.

This trend has continued from earlier this year, where Gartner predicted a slowdown in the uptake of tablets due to device saturation.

Last year, PC shipments saw their steepest decline in history, suffering a 10% decrease in shipments from the previous year.

But April 2014 indicated a levelling of PC sales after Microsoft ended the support of its XP operating system earlier that month.

Kitagawa said: “More availability of affordable touch-based laptops, price drops of thin and light laptops, and two-in-one hybrid laptops will attract consumers this holiday season.”

Lenovo took the top spot for PC sales worldwide in the third quarter of 2014, with an 11.4% shipment increase year-on-year.

The Chinese firm announced in August this year its laptop and tablet sales for the quarter were up 12% and 67% respectively, while gaining PC market share in most parts of the world.

Meanwhile, HP topped out in the EMEA market, with 20.9% of a total 24 million shipments in the region. The firm recently opted to split its consumer computing and printing departments into a separate company to focus on more profitable aspect of the firm, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

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