PC sales under pressure from strong dollar

As Intel's March 12th warning led many to expect, PC sales were weak in Q1: IDC estimates shipments fell 6.7% yr/yr to 68.5m, a much sharper drop than Q4's 2.4% and Q3/Q2's 1.7%. Gartner estimates shipments fell 5.2% to 71.7m. With IDC also reporting of price pressure, revenue declines might be larger.

IDC says the Q1 market faced multiple headwinds - including inventory build-up of Windows Bing based notebooks, commercial slow down following the XP refresh and constrained demand in many regions due to currency fluctuations and unfavourable economic indicators.

Gartner thinks sales of mobile PCs (notebooks, convertibles, and Windows tablets) rose, while desktop sales fell sharply.

Both Gartner and IDC report US PC shipments fell only 1% yr/yr. On the other hand, IDC thinks Japan (another high-ASP market) saw shipments fall 44%; strong Q1 2014 spending prior to a tax hike made for tough comparisons.

Market leaders Lenovo and HP continued taking share from firms with less scale: IDC estimates Lenovo's share rose to 19.6% from 17.6% a year ago (3.4% unit growth), and HP's to 19% from 17.1% (3.3% unit growth).#3 Dell's share rose to 13.5% from 13.4%; #4 Asus was flat at 7.1%, and #5 Acer rose to 7% from 6.3%.

Everyone else collectively fell to 33.9% from 38.4%.Unlike in Q4 and Q3 (seasonally stronger quarters for the company), Apple wasn't in the global top-5. IDC estimates the company's US. unit share rose to 10.9% from 10.6%, good for fourth place (revenue share is higher).

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