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.
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.