Gartner PC Shipments: Tablet Sales Cannibalizing PC Sales

How did PC shipments do in the fourth quarter of 2012? According to a recent Gartner (NYSE: IT) report, not too well. In the fourth quarter of 2012, worldwide PC shipments totaled 90.3 million units, a 4.9 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2011. What does this mean for mobile device management? We'll review.

As one could imagine, tablets are changing the device landscape for PCs. Rather than replacing out-of-date PCs, some consumers are shifting over to tablets, according to Gartner Principal Analyst Mikako Kitagawa. Although some users will own both a PC and a tablet, that will not be the norm.

Most consumers will not replace the secondary PC in the household. Kitagawa said that low-cost tablets triggered the switch. If this is true, MSPs should pay close attention. More clients will insist on mobile devices in the workplace,and some will implement bring your own device policies. Expect potential threats to increase as users switch over to these devices. Plan your malware defense for 2013.

In worldwide PC shipments, HP (NYSE:HPQ) regained the top position in the fourth quarter of 2012. The company's shipments, however, did not grow compared to a year ago. HP's market share increased slightly to 16.2 percent, but it's wasn't enough to make a difference.  Lenovo dropped to the number two position, but it experienced a 8.2 percent growth rate, the highest among the top five PC vendors worldwide. For all companies, PC shipments totaled 17.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012 in the U.S., a slight decline of 2.1 percent from the same period a year ago.

Gartner reported last week that device spending would reach $666 billion in 2013, up 6.3 percent from 2012. But that forecast represents a decline from the one Gartner initially offered.

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