For the first time in half a decade, personal computer sales fell over the holidays as interest in tablets and smartphones continue to increase.
In the last quarter of 2012, 89.8 million PC units were sold, accounting for a worldwide PC sales drop of 6.4 percent compared to last year's Q4, according to the tech industry analysis firm International Data Corporation, which reported the finding late Thursday. IDC predicted earlier that the PC sales would see another 4.4 percent drop in the upcoming quarter.
Compared to the global market, the U.S. market saw a 4.5 percent decline in Q4 and a 7 percent dip for the year.
The poor sales report came despite the October release of Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 8, which apparently did not excite consumers with its tablet-like option for touch screen. In fact, some claim the development killed Windows 8, according to the technology blog The Next Web.
Rather, Windows 8 should be focusing on a better user experience, rather than keeping with the trends, said Jay Chou, a senior research analyst at IDC.
"Lost in the shuffle to promote a touch-centric PC, vendors have not forcefully stressed other features that promote a more secure, reliable and efficient user experience," concluded Chou. "Although the third quarter was focused on the clearing of Windows 7 inventory, preliminary research indicates the clearance did not significantly boost the uptake of Windows 8 systems in Q4."
IDC's research director, David Daoud, added to Chou's sentiments.
"Consumers expected all sorts of cool PCs with tablet- and touch-optimized capabilities. Instead, they mostly saw traditional PCs that feature a new OS (Windows 8) optimized for touch and tablet with applications and hardware that are not yet able to fully utilize these capabilities," he said.
Dell saw its global market share drop from 12.5 percent to 10.6 percent over the past 12 months, with its Q4 shipments plunging 20.8 percent to 9.5 million units from the same time last year.
Similarly, Acer saw shipments plummet 28.2 percent to 7 million units.
Hewlett-Packard retained the number one slot, with 16.7 percent of the global shipment's market in Q4, followed by Lenovo at 15.7 percent, which defied the market trend, seeing an increase in PC shipments of 8.2 percent year-over-year, amounting to 14.1 million units sold.
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