Worldwide PC shipments, including desktops and laptops, suffered their seventh consecutive quarter of decline, according to Gartner. Over the last two years, tablets and smartphones have replaced PCs, especially in emerging markets, contributing to the decline. But Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa contends that a bottom has been reached.
"Although PC shipments continued to decline in the worldwide market in the fourth quarter, we increasingly believe markets, such as the US, have bottomed out as the adjustment to the installed base slows," he said in a statement Thursday. "Lowering the price point of thin and light products started encouraging the PC replacement and potentially some PC growth in 2014."
Global PC shipments for 2013 totaled 315.9 million units, declining 10 percent from 2012. Lenovo overtook Hewlett-Packard as the leading vendor in 2013, while Dell held steady in the third spot. Taiwanese manufacturers Acer and Asus both saw substantial declines year over year in the fourth quarter. The two companies have cut back on PCs, focusing more on mobile, connected devices such as tablets and Chromebooks.
Apple's fourth-quarter performance in the US, buoyed by new MacBook laptops, was the best among all PC vendors on a percentage basis. Macintosh sales grew 28.5 percent year over year, earning 13.7 percent market share, compared with 9.9 percent in the same quarter in 2012.