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China claims top spot in global PC market

Updated: 2013-05-03 01:30
By Gao Yuan ( China Daily)

Like in the rest of the world, PC demand in China remains sluggish as consumers migrate to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Global PC shipments totaled 76.3 million units in the first quarter, a decline of nearly 14 percent year-on-year, industry consultancy IDC said in April. The extent of the contraction marked the worst quarter since the company began to release the quarterly PC shipments figure in 1994.

The result also marked the fourth consecutive quarter of year-on-year shipment declines, it said.

Gartner Inc, a US-based research firm, said that the worldwide traditional PC market is expected to decline 7.6 percent in 2013 because customers are starting to spend more time on mobile devices.

"As consumers shift their time away from their PC to tablets and smartphones, they will no longer see their PC as a device that they need to replace on a regular basis," said Carolina Milanesi, research vice-president of Gartner.

This is a reflection of a long-term change in user behavior rather than a temporary trend induced by the austere economic environment, said Gartner.

Hit by sluggish worldwide PC demand, global manufacturers are vigorously looking for future business models for the post-PC era.

The world's No 1 PC vendor, Hewlett-Packard Co, is betting on its enterprise software service sector to keep its head above water. The company's worldwide shipments dived more than 23 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, IDC said in April.

Lenovo Group Ltd, China's top PC maker and the world's second largest, said it's shifting the focus to mobile devices although PCs remain the biggest profit generator for the company.

Dell Inc, the third-largest vendor by shipments, also said it will beef up its software arm after Michael Dell, its founder, said he will take the company private.

"The industry is going through a critical crossroads, and strategic choices will have to be made as to how to compete with the proliferation of alternative devices and remain relevant to the consumer," said David Daoud, research director at IDC's personal computing department.

"Vendors will have to revisit their organizational structures and market strategies, as well as their supply chain, distribution, and product portfolios in the face of shrinking demand and looming consolidation," he said.

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