Declining global PC shipments signal market shift says Gartner

Gartner recently published its latest metrics for the computer market for Q4 2012. According to the company, worldwide PC shipments totaled 90.3 million units in Q4 of 2012 for a 4.9% decline compared to Q4 2011. The analytics firm says that tablets have dramatically changed the landscape in the PC market.

Gartner notes that tablets aren't as much cannibalizing computer sales as leading computer users to shift their consumption to tablets rather than replacing older computers. Gartner says that it believes that most individuals will shift consumption activity to a tablet while performing creative and administrative tasks on a shared PC. The analytics company believes that individuals retaining both a tablet and PC will be the exception rather than the rule.

Gartner also says that it believes buyers won't replace secondary PCs within the home. Instead once those machines age out consumption will be shifted to a tablet. The holiday shopping season of 2012 saw some very low-priced notebooks being offered as part of holiday deals but that trend reportedly did very little to boost holiday PC sales.

Gartner also reports that the launch of Windows 8 didn't have a significant impact on computer shipments during Q4. Gartner does believe new products coming to market could help drive churn within the computer user base. Gartner lists HP as the number one computer shipper globally during Q4. The second place spot in global shipments went to Lenovo with Dell in third, Acer in forth, and Asus in fifth.