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The PC had a really, really rough holiday quarter

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The PC market isn’t totally dead yet, but it is looking more than a little haggard. Just under 90 million PCs were sold during October and December 2012, which turns out to be a 6.4 percent drop in unit sales from the same period in 2011, according to IDC’s Quarterly PC Tracker report published Thursday. That’s highly unusual: holiday quarters in half-way decent economic times generally produce gains. For the PC, heavily impacted by the rise in popularity of tablets, it was the worst showing for a holiday quarter in over half a decade. For all of 2012, PC sales dropped 3.2 percent from the previous year’s total.

Worldwide, Dell(s DELL) and Acer were among those PC makers hit the hardest. Lenovo and Acer, which saw positive gains, didn’t fare as badly, as IDC’s chart shows below. Apple,(s AAPL) whose sales data from IDC is only available in the U.S. was basically even with Mac sales from the previous year.

Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 3.19.01 PMScreen Shot 2013-01-10 at 3.19.13 PM

To add insult to injury, not only did the PC fare terribly during the gift-giving discount-frenzy holiday season, the results also reflect the inauspicious debut of Windows 8(s MSFT). Even Microsoft is moving its customers toward tablets for basic computing. At this point, it can’t be too much longer until tablets outsell PCs.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Flickr user ercwttmn

5 Responses to “The PC had a really, really rough holiday quarter”

  1. What a terribly written and edited article. 90 million PCs shipped in October and December – wait, I mean Q4. Acer lost – no, they gained. Not just gains, but positive gains.

    Deadlines are a pain, and CES can’t make things any easier. But please…

  2. Dell really appears to be getting clobbered in PCs. I know they have said that they want to move away from PCs and be an enterprise company, but I’m not so sure their strategy is going to work.

    It is going to take them a while to buy up all the companies they need to compete in enterprise. So, they are going to need that PC money for at least another five years or so. At the rate they are declining in PCs they aren’t going to last that long.

    You can’t just jump overnight into a completely new business. They should not be giving up in PCs so easily when they desperately need that money to keep buying up companies.

  3. “Worldwide, Dell and Acer were among those PC makers hit the hardest. Lenovo and Acer, which saw positive gains,”
    Acer mentioned as both gaining and declining. Asus is gaining.

    • Everyone seems to be confusing Acer with Asus. Asus is the “better” one of the two. Acer is the worse, “cheaper” one. It’s a good way to make the distinction, usually.

      Also, I think she missed Toshiba. 2012 seems to have brutal for them (-30% decline).