Research firm Gartner isn't saying the sky is falling on the PC industry, but it does note that worldwide PC shipments totaled just 87.5 million units in the second quarter of 2012, representing a decline of 0.1 percent from one year prior. Perhaps even more telling is the fact that Q2 marked the seventh consecutive quarter of flat to-single-digit growth.
"Uncertainties in the economy in various regions, as well as consumer’s low interest in PC purchases, were some of the key influencers of slow PC shipment growth," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "Despite the high expectations for the thin and light notebook segment, Ultrabooks, shipment volume was small and little impact on overall shipment growth.”
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According to Gartner, consumers have a bigger interest in spending their disposable income on things like tablets and smartphones rather than purchasing new PCs. However, it's important to note that Windows 8 is right around the corner (October 2012), and that could spur a flurry of PC sales.
As for vendors. Hewlett-Packard managed to edge out Lenovo as the top dog with a 14.9 percent share of the market compared to 14.7 percent. Lenovo is likely to take the top spot in Q3, however, as HP's global shipments dipped 12.1 percent in Q2, while Lenovo's continued to climb, to the tune of 14.9 percent.