PC Sales Continue To Slide Down Almost 11 Percent, Longest Decline Ever

Computer sales are slumping, but Windows 8 isn’t to blame for the slide, according to market consultant Gartner. The research firm said that PC shipments (including laptops), which dropped to 76 million in the second quarter, can be attributed to the rising popularity of tablets, rather than customer dissatisfaction with Microsoft’s latest operating system.

HP Z1 Workstation. HP has the lead in U.S. PC sales.
HP's Z1 Workstation for business. Image Credit: HP

“We are seeing the PC market reduction directly tied to the shrinking installed base of PCs, as inexpensive tablets displace the low-end machines used primarily for consumption in mature and developed markets,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

The decline in PC shipments is global, but the U.S. enjoyed a smaller decline than it has in recent quarters. Gartner pointed to strong sales of business PCs by Dell, HP, and Lenovo as helping to mitigate the PC slump. HP maintained the top spot in Gartner’s list of top manufacturers for Q2 of 2013, shipping 3,957,761 computers and laptops for 26.4% of the market share. That’s -0.5% growth from the previous year.

These numbers include desktops and laptops, but not tablets. Image credit: Business Wire/ Gartner

Dell took second place with 24.6% of the U.S. market, and Apple placed a distant third with 11.6%. Lenovo came in fourth at 10.1%, and Toshiba rounded out the top five with 5.7%. All of the companies saw PC shipments drop from last year, but keep in mind that this is still a huge market: Gartner puts the total units shipped in the U.S. at 14,975,29.