Systems and PC hardware


Market analysis

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 82.6 million units in Q4'13, a 6.9% decline from Q4'12 and the seventh consecutive quarterly decline.

Although PC shipments continued to decline in the worldwide market in Q4'13, industry analysts believe major markets, such as the US, have bottomed out as the adjustment to the installed base slows. Strong growth in tablets continued to negatively impact PC growth in emerging markets. Further, in emerging markets, the first connected device for consumers is often a smartphone, and their first computing device is a tablet. As a result, the adoption of PCs in emerging markets will be slower as consumers pass over PCs for tablets.

HP and Lenovo were virtually neck and neck for the top global position in the PC market throughout 2013. Lenovo maintained their Q3’13 lead in the fourth quarter, accounting for 18.1% of global PC shipments.

PC shipments in Western Europe totaled 14.7 million units in Q4'13, a decline of 4.4% compared with the same period in 2012. All PC segments in Western Europe decreased in the fourth quarter. Mobile and desktop PC shipments declined 6.5% and 0.3%, respectively. PC shipments in the professional PC market declined 1.7%, while the consumer PC market fell 7% in Q4'13. For all of 2013, shipments for traditional PCs (desktops and mobile PCs) decreased 14%, but the rate of unit decline was moderate across geographies. This may indicate that the impact of tablets cannibalising PC sales in mature markets is fading. In Q4'13 HP remained the No. 1 PC vendor in Western Europe. HP, Lenovo and ASUS strengthened their positions in the PC market at the expense of Samsung and Toshiba. 1

Worldwide tablet shipments grew to 76.9 million units in Q4'13, representing 62.4% growth QoQ and 28.2% growth YoY. While the growth rate remains impressive, it is down dramatically compared to YoY rates of the same quarter one year ago (87.1%) and indicates a significant slowing of the overall tablet market. For the full calendar year 2013, worldwide tablet shipments totaled 217.1 million units, which is up from 144.2 million units for the full-year 2012 and represents a YoY growth rate of 50.6%. Analysts expect commercial purchases of tablets to continue to accelerate, but experience softness in the consumer segment in mature markets. Apple once again led the worldwide market for tablets, shipping 26 million units during the quarter, up from 14.1 million the previous quarter and 22.9 million in Q4'12.

Apple saw its worldwide tablet market share for the quarter grow to 33.8%, up from 29.7% in the third quarter but down from its 38.2% share in the fourth quarter of 2012. Samsung retained its second-place spot on the strength of a wide portfolio of products and increased carrier support in markets like the US, and achieving an 18.8% share worldwide. That's down slightly from the 18.9% of the previous quarter, but up significantly from its 13% share a year ago. Filling out the top five were Amazon (7.6%), ASUS (5.1%), and Lenovo (4.4%).

Lenovo’s access to the Chinese whitebox manufacturing infrastructure has helped it drive more low-priced tablet products into the market, growing its share to 4.4% from just 1.3% in the same quarter last year. The company's strength in emerging markets, and its increased market share in adjoining markets such as PCs and smartphones, makes it well positioned to see additional tablet gains in 2014.2

EMC revenue in Q4’13 was US$6.7bn, an increase of 11% YoY. Q4'13 net income increased 17% YoY to US$1.0bn. Full-year 2013 revenue was US$23.2bn, an increase of 7% YoY. This result was highlighted by 5% YoY revenue growth for EMC's Information Infrastructure business, and 15% YoY revenue growth each for VMware and Pivotal. Net income attributable to EMC for 2013 increased 6% YoY to US$2.9bn. EMC's Information Storage business accelerated revenue growth to 10% YoY in Q4, and its Emerging Storage business accelerated revenue 73% YoY, propelled by the very successful launch of EMC XtremIO and the continued strong growth of EMC Isilon, EMC Atmos and EMC VPLEX products. The company's Unified and Backup Recovery business increased revenue 11% YoY, benefitting from the recent product launches of the next-generation EMC VNX and EMC Data Domain product lines.

IBM announced Q4'13 diluted earnings of US$5.73 per share, compared with diluted earnings of US$5.13 per share in Q4'12, an increase of 12%. Q4'13 net income, which includes benefits from tax audit settlements, was US$6.2bn compared with US$5.8bn in Q4'12, an increase of 6%. Total revenues for Q4'13 of US$27.7bn decreased 5% (down 3% adjusting for currency) YoY. This increase in revenue and net profits was adversely impacted by the Systems and Technology segment, which totaled US$4.3bn for the quarter, down 26% YoY. Systems and Technology pre-tax income was US$0.2bn, a decrease of US$768mn. Total Systems revenues decreased 25%. Revenues from System z mainframe server products decreased 37% compared with the year-ago period.

  1. Gartner Press Release, January 2014
  2. IDC, January 2014
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Scott Adams
Global leader
Computers & networking
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