PC Shipments Grew to 89 Million in First Quarter of 2012

Gartner's earlier projections were exceeded by quite a bit

Even though the first quarter of every year is considered the “slow” season in terms of product sales, the PC market somehow managed to exceed forecasts.

Originally, Gartner expected shipments of personal computers to decrease by 1.2% in Q1, 2012 compared to the same period of 2011.

Now, though, preliminary findings suggest that sales actually grew, by 1.9 percent in fact, leaving the worldwide number at 89 million.

"The results were mixed depending on the region, as we saw the EMEA region perform better than expected with PC shipments growing 6.7 percent in the first quarter of 2012, while Asia/Pacific performed below expectations, in part because of slow growth in India and China," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

"While the PC industry has high expectations for strong growth in the emerging markets, the slowdown of these countries in this quarter provides a cautionary notice to vendors that the future growth for the PC industry cannot heavily depend on the emerging markets even though PC penetration in these regions is low."

HP actually managed to boost its share, showing that whatever internal management issues it had suffered have been overcome. It led the company rankings with a 17.2% share, followed by Lenovo (13.1%), Dell (11%), Acer (10.9%) and ASUS (6%). All other makers of PCs accumulated the remaining 48.8%.

"The first quarter of 2012 was a transitional period as the PC industry is awaiting two big releases: Intel's Ivy Bridge and Microsoft's Windows 8,” Ms. Kitagawa said.

“Both are expected to be launched this year. Although these new releases are not expected to stimulate demand as much as the industry hopes, they will affect PC supply so that there will be artificial supply control before and after the product releases. There will be few products rolled out into the market until these major releases have taken place."

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