An increasing demand of smartphones is gradually strangling to the PC sales day-by-day. Last year, 700.1 million smartphones were shipped, and expecting to be shipped 1.4 billion this year. According to a research firm Canalys, PC sales recorded 12% Y/Y growth in Q4 2012. A whopping 134 million PCs–including notebook, desktops and tablets–were shipped during the quarter. Apple continued its supremacy in terms of PC sales, shipped 27 million units in the last quarter. However, out of 27 million units, 22.7 million units were iPads only. Apple’s Mac lineups couldn’t do any wonder during the entire last year. But somehow, the company succeeded to grab over 20% of PC sales first time in Q4 2012.
Dell’s Reputation Declining In Terms of PC Sales
With 15.0 million PC sales, HP managed to hold second position in terms of PC sales in Q4 2012, beat Lenovo by 200,000 units. On the other side, Samsung shipped 11.7 million PCs, taking it market share to 9%. Notebook sales remained lackluster during Q4 2012. However, an advent of Windows Phone and strong holiday season in Western Europe and US somehow boosted to worldwide PC sales during the last quarter.
As per the firm, 114.6 million tablets were shipped last year, out of these, 46.2 million were shipped just in Q4 2012. Tablet sales recorded 75% Y/Y growth last quarter. Just a week before, IDC reported that 52.5 million tablets were sold during Q4 2012, a 75.3% Y/Y growth. We could easily see a discrepancy in the stats (provided by IDC and Canalys) related to tablet shipments.
Dell is gradually losing its reputation in PC segment; the company shipped just 9.7 million units in Q4 2012, a 19% Y/Y decline. Apparently, Dell’s business model is considered expensive and unsuitable for emerging markets, where pricing plays crucial role for PC sales. However, the planned buyout could be lucrative for the company to refocus on its PC strategies. But, Microsoft’s involvement in the Dell Buyout unleashes several questions around.
Microsoft Needs To Think About Pricing And Poor Chanel Strategy
Last year, Microsoft astonished everyone with its Surface Tablet. The company jumped into mobile hardware segment, which was one of the biggest moves of the world’s leading software company. However, the company is still struggling with its Surface Tablet, only 3% of tablets shipped during the last quarter were Microsoft’s Windows RT-powered. The main hurdles for Surface tablet are its high pricing, poor channel distribution and confusions related Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro.
Indeed, Microsoft needs to rethink about pricing strategy of its Surface RT as well as Surface Pro. In addition, the company will have to do something special to attract more number of developers as well as mass consumers.
Users Are Willing To Own Small Tablets
During the last quarter, Apple’s tablet sales were mainly driven by iPad Mini. With attractive price and compact design, iPad Mini significantly cannibalized its siblings and wider PC market. Despite, Apple Tablet market share dipped to 44% in Q4 2012. The success of iPad Mini has demystified that users are more likely to own portable small-screen size tablets.
Other tablet vendors, Amazon and Samsung shipped 4.6 million and 7.6 million tablets during the last quarter, showing 18% and 226% Y/Y growth respectively. As hardware commoditization accelerates, vendors really need to think about their tablets’ prices if they are targeting to volume.
Increasing demand of Amazon and Samsung’s tablet has boosted Google’s Android tablet market share, accounting more than 50% of overall tablet market. Furthermore, Google and Amazon are currently leveraging on their strong mobile ecosystem for revenue generation. More importantly, Google shipped 2.6 million units of Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 combined during Q4 2012.