Worldwide PC shipments declined by 1.7% in the first quarter of 2014 – the eighth consecutive quarter of decline – compared to the corresponding period from last year, with 76.6 million units moved globally.
The decline is less severe than that of the previous seven quarters, and has been credited to the discontinuation of Windows XP.
“The end of XP support by Microsoft on 8 April 2014 has played a role in the easing decline of PC shipments,” said Mikako Kitagawa, an analyst at Gartner.
“All regions indicated a positive effect since the end of XP support stimulated the PC refresh of XP systems. Professional desktops in particular showed strength in the quarter. Among key countries, Japan was greatly affected by the end of XP support, registering a 35% year-over-year increase in PC shipments. We expect the impact of XP migration worldwide to continue throughout 2014.”
Kitagawa said while the PC market remained weak, it was showing signs of improvement compared to last year.
A separate survey conducted by the by research firm IDC showed a 4.4% drop in the 2014’s first quarter sales to 73.4 million units. IDC said they had previously expected a 5.3 percent dip for the quarter.
A contributing factor to the repeated decline over the last two years has been credited to consumers’ continuing shift toward tablets and smartphones.
“The transition to more mobile devices and usage modes is unlikely to stop, although the short-term impact on PC shipments may slow as tablet penetration rises,” IDC said. “There is potential for PC shipments to stabilise, but not much opportunity for growth.”