Holiday PC Sales Slip Despite Windows 8
January 12, 2013

Windows 8 Fails To Boost Holiday PC Sales

redOrbit staff & Wire Reports — Your Universe Online

Hewlett-Packard remained on top of the fourth-quarter PC sales charts, while Microsoft´s highly-touted Windows 8 did little to spur sales of traditional computers over the holiday season, according to statistics released on Thursday.

During the final three months of 2012, worldwide PC shipments totaled 89.8 million units, a 6.4-percent decrease versus the same period in 2011 and worse than the projected 4.4-percent drop in sales, International Data Corporation reported. It marked the first time in over five years that the computing market saw a year-on-year decline during the holiday season, the market intelligence and advisory firm added.

Meanwhile, HP remained atop the sales charts, holding off an impressive charge from second-place Lenovo in the process. According to Computerworld, the leader posted shipment totals that were 0.6-percent lower than in 2011, while their rivals saw their shipments increase by 8.2-percent during the 2012 holiday season.

While Lenovo managed to set a new company record by shipping over 14 million units during the fourth quarter, ZDNet´s Rachel King said the Chinese electronics firm´s gains were “still smaller than what they used to be, comparing them to growth rates of nearly 30 percent seen last year.”

“Dell, Acer, and Asus, respectively, rounded out the top five PC vendors worldwide,” King added. “Besides Lenovo, Asus was the only seller to post positive growth from Q4 2011 to Q4 2012. As for 2012 overall, the IDC also found HP to be the top vendor for the year, despite a 6.7 percent decline in market share since 2011. Lenovo, on the other hand, grew its share by 19.2 percent.”

As for Windows 8, which many expected to re-energize PC sales following its release, it “didn´t even manage to cause a ripple,” John Paczkowski of All Things D said. One of the reasons for that, experts believe, might have been the lack of exciting new hardware to take advantage of the new software´s new features.

“Consumers expected all sorts of cool PCs with tablet- and touch-optimized capabilities,” IDC research director David Daoud told Paczkowski “Instead, they mostly saw traditional PCs that feature a new OS (Windows 8) optimized for touch and tablet with applications and hardware that are not yet able to fully utilize these capabilities.”

Other factors that may have helped cool-off the highly anticipated new Microsoft OS — and computer sales on the whole — were economic concerns and competing devices, such as tablets and smartphones, IDC said. Overall, PC sales fell from approximately 364 million in 2011 to 352 million in 2012 — a decrease of 3.2-percent, they added.