Slump in PC sales slows

NEW YORK — Worldwide shipments of PCs fell during the first three months of the year, but the latest numbers show that the global slump in PC demand may be easing.

Although the numbers released Wednesday by market research firms Gartner and IDC mark the industry’s eighth straight quarter of declines, they also show a considerable slowdown from the drops in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Analysts for both firms pointed to a bump in demand, especially in Japan, stemming from Microsoft’s retirement of its Windows XP operating system this week. Although users can still run the 12-year-old operating system, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates and has urged existing users to upgrade to newer systems, such as Windows 8.

Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, said the PC professional market also improved in regions such as Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

According to Gartner, global PC shipments fell 2 percent to 76.6 million units in the first three months of 2014. By comparison, shipments fell 7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.

By IDC’s calculations, shipments fell 4 percent in the first quarter, slightly less than the 5 percent drop the firm had projected.

PC sales have taken a hit in recent years amid the shift in consumer spending toward tablets and other mobile devices. They’ve also been hurt by tough economic conditions around the world.

Loren Loverde, IDC’s vice president for worldwide PC trackers, said that although the global economy seems to be stabilizing, the move to mobile will likely continue.

“The net result remains consistent with our past forecasts — in particular, that there is potential for PC shipments to stabilize, but not much opportunity for growth,” Loverde said.

The U.S. continued to be a bright spot for the industry.

Gartner said U.S. shipments rose 2 percent during the first quarter to 14.1 million, while IDC said U.S. shipments were unchanged at 14.3 million.

More in Herald Business Journal

Peoples, HomeStreet banks bump lowest salaries after tax cut

The banks with Snohomish County branches will raise minimum salaries for employees to $15 an hour.

Electroimpact cuts Mukilteo staff by 9 percent

“What we’re missing now is a monster anchor project,” the company’s VP said.

Exotic animals find compassionate care in Bothell (video)

At the Center for Bird and Exotic Animal Medicine, vets treat snakes, hedgehogs and even kangaroos.

How can you tell if you are getting good financial advice?

Assume that it’s still the same buyer-beware market that has always existed.

Amanda Strong (left) tries on an Angel of the Winds Arena hat as she and Courtney Brown hand out gift bags after the renaming ceremony Dec. 13 in Everett. The new name replaces the Xfinity name. (Andy Bronson / Her file)
Angel of the Winds to break ground on $60M casino expansion

“We think we’re on the cusp of becoming a major resort.”

In this Dec. 20, 2017, photo, a clerk reaches to a shelf to pick an item for a customer order at the Amazon Prime warehouse, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Amazon’s potential HQ2 sites leaves many cities disappointed

And yet, some municipal leaders are looking at the bright side of being rejected.

How do you retrieve an errant Boeing 737 from a muddy slope?

Turkish authorities used cranes to lift a plane that skidded off a runway.

Don’t take economic forecasts to the bank — or the casino

Air travel delays could spur a rebirth of passenger rail service.

Emirates orders 20 more Airbus A380 jumbos, saving program

The Dubai carrier also has options to buy 16 more. The program seems safe until 2029.

Most Read