Posts Tagged ‘Gartner’

Global personal computer (PC) sales have fallen for the fifth quarter in a row, making it the “longest duration of decline” in history.

Worldwide PC shipments totalled 76 million units in the second quarter, a 10.9% drop from a year earlier, according to research firm Gartner.

PC sales have been hurt in recent years by the growing popularity of tablets.

Gartner said the introduction of low-cost tablets had further hurt PC sales, especially in emerging economies.

“In emerging markets, inexpensive tablets have become the first computing device for many people, who at best are deferring the purchase of a PC,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, said in a statement.

Separate data released by research firm IDC also showed an 11.4% decline in global PC shipments during the period, from a year earlier.

IDC, which uses a slightly different method to calculate the data, said that shipments totalled 75.6 million units in the second quarter.

However, it said that the numbers were better than it had expected and were likely to improve in the coming months.

“With second quarter growth so close to forecast, we are still looking for some improvement in growth during the second half of the year,” said Jay Chou, a senior analyst at IDC Worldwide PC Tracker.

But he warned that the sector was facing risks and much work needed to be done to turn around things.

“Slower growth in Europe and China reflect the risks, while the improved US outlook reflects potential improvement. Still, the weakness in emerging markets is a threat to a core long-term growth area,” Mr Chou said.

“In addition, while efforts by the PC ecosystem to bring down price points and embrace touch computing should make PCs more attractive, a lot still needs to be done in launching attractive products and addressing competition from devices like tablets.”

HTC may not sustain sales growth into the third-quarter as the glow around the Taiwanese smartphone maker’s flagship model is likely to be eclipsed by new products bigger rivals Apple and Samsung Electronics.

Strong sales of the latest version of the HTC One, as well as the colorful Butterfly range, boosted HTC’s second-quarter net profit surged to T$1.25 billion ($41.63 million)a record low in the previous quarter when a shortage of camera components ed its product launch.

The profit figure, however, lagged forecasts and analysts said the sales growth was likely to be short-lived. Sales for the July-September quarter are expected to remain little changedthe previous quarter and few new products are in the pipeline.

The company has also cut back on component orders for the quarter, which traditionally sees higher sales, several analysts said. BNP Paribas, in a recent research note, said it expected overall third-quarter orders to remain flat the second-quarter.

“HTC may have new products in Q3, but competitionApple and other Chinese brands are fierce,” said Taipei-based analyst Peter Liao of Nomura Securities. “It’ll be hard to keep the growth.”

Analysts said the almost 25 percent drop in HTC’s June sales compared to the same year-ago period also boded ill for the next quarter.

“The big drop on June sales likely proves the HTC One sales momentum slowdown and 3Q may be only flattish as is the market expectation,” Goldman Sacks analyst Michael Shieh said.

Growth in sales for smartphone market leader Samsung Electronics has also started to wane. The South Korean firm missed already modest expectations for its quarterly earnings guidance, deepening worries that its smartphone business may have peaked.

HTC has embarked on a marketing campaign to boost its brand image, a strategy it said in May would squeeze operating margins for the rest of the year.

The company is expected to launch the One Mini phone, which features a 4.3-inch screen and is targeted at the mid-market, in August, a month before both heavyweights Samsung and Apple are likely to release new and upgraded offerings.

In addition to the intense competition, HTC has seen several executives leave the company this year, including Chief Product Officer Kouji Kodera. Company sources say the departures were related to a disappointing product launch and a 40 percent drop in total sales in 2012.

HTC was the world’s 10th-biggest smartphone maker by shipments in the fourth quarter 2012, according to IT research firm Gartner, jostling in a crowded field behind Samsung and Apple.