PC sales dropped in fourth quarter 2011

Gartner analysts took a look at PC sales in the fourth quarter of 2011 and found that shipments were down 1.4 percent when compared to 2010. While some companies are claiming this slump is due to flooding in Thailand, Gartner believes otherwise.

PC sales dropped in fourth quarter 2011

Tuesday Microsoft was quick to predict that poor fourth quarter sales were to be blamed on the Thailand floods but Gartner claims that had very little overall impact on PC sales. Gartner analysts are pegging poor fourth quarter sales on weak holiday demand.

“While economic uncertainty in Western Europe had an effect on consumer PC shipments, expectations of a healthier economic outlook in North America could not stimulate consumer PC demand in that region,” said Gartner principal analyst Gartner Mikako Kitagawa in a statement. “The healthy professional PC market as well as growth in emerging markets could not compensate for the weaknesses in mature markets, with overall growth still negative.”

Looking at 2011 stats shows that HP remained the highest in terms of PC shipments but experienced a 16.2 percent drop when compared to the rest of 2011. Lenovo comes in second and saw a 23 percent rise in shipments. Dell also had a decent quarter showing growth in a good number of regions.

Gartner’s data also shows that PC shipments were up in Asia and Latin America while dropping in the US, Western Europe, and Japan. Analysts claim shipments declined in the US because of a new consumer focus on other types of electronics like smart phones and tablets during the holidays.

There was some positive news in this report; Gartner analysts see overall market growth for PC shipments this year. Apparently 352.8 million PCs were shipped, which is an overall increase of 0.5 percent when compared to 2010 as a whole.

Gartner does warn that the Thailand floods could produce a major hard drive shortage in the first six months of 2012, which could lead to a decrease in PC shipments during that period. IHS-iSuppli agreed with that prediction and indicates it could lead to a 3.8 million unit decline in PC shipments.