Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Back-To-School Season Disappoints as Q3 PC Sales Decline Again

Research firms IDC and Gartner are both out today with their latest look at the state of the PC market as of the end of the third quarter of the year. If you were looking for the back-to-school season to reverse the trends seen so far in what’s turning out to be the industry’s worst year ever, think again.

Gartner first: The firm said that the total number of units shipped during the quarter was 80.3 million, amounting to an 8.6 percent decline from the same period last year.

China’s Lenovo solidified its lead against Hewlett-Packard as the world’s top PC vendor with a 17.6 percent share of the market, about a half point above HP. Dell came in third with 11.1 percent of the market. Acer was fourth and Asus was fifth; these two saw the worst declines among all the vendors, more than 22 percent each.

HP maintained its lead in the US, holding on to 27 percent of the market, besting Dell, which was second with a 21 percent share, and Apple, which had 13.4 percent. Overall, the U.S. market accounted for 16.1 million units, and grew by 3.5 percent. Gartner said Apple saw shipments of its Mac computers decline by 2.3 percent — though it’s important to point out that Apple hasn’t yet reported its results for the quarter.

IDC also released its numbers today, and since it tracks the market a little differently, they trend directionally the same, but with some differences. First it said it saw a smaller decline in the overall market of only 5.6 percent, or about 81.6 million units.

Lenovo also secured for itself the title of world’s leading PC vendor in the IDC survey, besting HP, but by a thinner margin. IDC pegged the Chinese vendor’s share at 17.3 percent versus 17.1 percent for HP. But the top five were the same: Dell was third, Acer fourth and Asus fifth. IDC also estimated the declines at Acer and Asus to be much worse than Gartner did, saying their sales declined by more than a third. It also estimated the decline in Mac sales at north of 11 percent.

Another difference in IDC’s estimates: It saw the U.S. market decline slightly — by less than one percent — not grow, as Gartner saw.

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”