Retailers and distributors replenished PC stocks cautiously during Q4 last year in a nod to concerns over weak consumer demand for Windows 8 and the perennial threat posed by slablets, according to recent sales and shipment stats.
IDC prelim stats show shipments of notebooks and desktops into the channel declined nearly 5 per cent in the quarter to 2.98 million units - numbers for tabs were not yet available.
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Maciej Gornicki, research analyst at IDC, said disties and retailers were still clearing Windows 7 kit until the start of December when the systems based on the latest OS began accelerating.
"But it was not as high as Microsoft expected," he told The Channel. "Demand was just not there because consumers opted for tablets".
Sales of consumer PCs into the channel fell 12 per cent in the quarter, the beancounter confirmed.
Clearly the pain of the 2011 inventory glut was something that's still fresh in the mind of many wholesalers and getting caught with large stockpiles of PCs is something that scared many.
But in a bizarre turn, IDC figures showed a 7 per cent spike in the commercial PC segment, bucking the downward trend across EMEA.
Gornicki said the analyst was unable at this stage to provide reasons for this climb, but speculated that a year ago some PC vendors faced HDD supply issues following the flooding in Thailand.
In terms of the vendor line-up, HP maintained top spot despite sales-in declining 17 per cent, with Dell managing to keep second place even after its sales dropped 18 per cent. Lenovo snuck into third, posting meteoric growth of 44 per cent. ®