Worldwide PC shipments fall in first quarter

Downturn graph

Global PC shipments have dropped in the first quarter according to a survey released this week.

The survey conducted by iSuppli concurs with a previous Gartner report showing the worst drop in PC sales since records began.

iSuppli said 66.5 million units were shipped in the first quarter of 2009, a drop of 8.1 per cent compared to the same time last year and a 14.4 per cent drop compared to the previous quarter.

Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for computer platforms research at iSuppli, said: "The worldwide recession sparked by the credit crisis slammed PC shipments for the second quarter in succession during the first three months of 2009."

"The first-quarter performance of the worldwide PC market was worse than iSuppli had expected in its prior forecast, which called for a 4 percent decline in shipments compared to the same period in 2008. After a long period of immunity to the global downturn, the economic crisis finally has begun to impact the PC market."

Although desktops dropped significantly, notebook sales grew by 10 per cent compared to the same period last year. The top five manufacturers HP, Dell, Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba all put this down to the rising sales of netbooks.

Wilkins said: "The bundling of a low-cost portable computer and an internet access package clearly has struck a chord with consumers."

iSuppli believes the netbook market will continue to increase, predicting a growth of nine per cent market share to 14 per cent for 2009.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.