Gartner Predicts Big PC Price Drops As Shipments Slump
Analyst firm thinks lack of demand will lead to price cuts
Analyst firm Gartner believes “significant price cuts” in the PC market could be on their way as early as September, if demand remains weak as expected.
PC shipments fell 2.4 percent in Western Europe in the second quarter of 2012, when compared to the same period last year, Gartner figures showed. Desktop PC shipments declined 12.8 percent, whilst the professional PC market declined 5.3 percent. In the UK, things were even worse, with a decline of 7.6 percent.
“Consumer spending on PCs has been stalled by the ongoing economic uncertainty. If demand, especially from consumers, remains weak there might be some old stock left in the channels ahead of the Windows 8 launch in October,” said Meike Escherich, principal analyst at Gartner.
“This could lead to significant price cuts in September, and challenges may arise in selling new products into the channel in the third quarter of 2012.”
Even though it lost market share, HP remained the number one PC seller in Western Europe. It wasn’t long ago that HP was considering pulling out of the PC game altogether. Acer, in second, grew its market share from 14.6 percent in the second quarter of 2011 to 17.3 percent in 2012.
Dell slipped a little further down the table, moving from third into second, thanks to solid growth from Asus, which leapfrogged the Texan company.
“Asus excelled at diversifying its product portfolio, which includes mobile PCs and desk-based PCs, and it is now expanding into Ultrabooks and tablets, all of which are marketed at attractive prices,” Escherich added.
As for the UK situation, Gartner questioned whether it would ever see growth again. “Windows 8 and Ultrabooks now look even more important,” said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. “However, messages emerging from the PC supply chain remain inconsistent and largely uninspiring. This has resulted in the PC channel holding back on new shipment orders until the fourth quarter of 2012.”
How much do you know about Microsoft Office? Try our quiz!