Press Release

STAMFORD, Conn., April 15, 2009 View All Press Releases

Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments Declined 6.5 Percent in First Quarter of 2009

HP Regains No. 1 Position in U.S. for First Time Since 2001

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 67.2 million units in the first quarter of 2009, a 6.5 percent decline versus first quarter 2008, according to preliminary results from Gartner, Inc.

“We are seeing some evidence of channel inventory restocking, particularly in the U.S.,” said George Shiffler, research director at Gartner. “This restocking should not be interpreted as a recovery in PC end-user demand; it’s still unclear if the global PC market has hit the bottom.”

Hewlett-Packard extended its lead in the worldwide PC market, accounting for 19.8 percent of global shipments in first quarter 2009 (see Table 1). HP registered higher growth rates than the regional averages in the U.S., Asia/Pacific, and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). HP’s strength derived from its solid consumer PC portfolio, including low priced mobile PCs.

Dell and Acer finished the quarter in a virtual tie for the No. 2 position in the worldwide PC market; they are separated by just 0.1 percent points. Dell was generally weighted down by its heavy reliance on the professional market, while Acer experienced a significant shipment increase fueled by low priced mobile PCs in EMEA and the U.S.

“Low priced mobile PCs continued to be the growth driver for the PC industry in most regions,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “However, we anticipate a sharp decline in industry revenues due to the lower average selling prices (ASPs) of these devices.”

Table 1
Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q09 (Thousands of Units)


1Q09 Shipments

1Q09 Market Share (%)

1Q08 Shipments

1Q08 Market Share (%)

1Q09-1Q08 Growth (%)







Dell Inc.




































Note: Data includes desk-based PCs, mobile PCs and X86 servers.
Source: Gartner (April 2009)

PC shipments in the U.S. totaled 15.3 million units in the first quarter of 2009, a 0.3 percent decline versus first quarter 2008. Shipments were stronger than expected thanks to strong growth in low-priced mobile PCs.

“Low priced mobile PCs led market growth in the U.S. Mini notebooks did well in the challenging economic environment where consumers’ number one priority was to save money,” said Ms. Kitagawa. “Mini notebooks continued to put pressure on low priced mobile PCs. This pressure was mainly felt in the consumer market, but it expanded into select professional markets as well, including the education segment. U.S. mobile PC ASP likely will decline as much as 20 percent year-over-year in first quarter 2009. Overall, end user spending on PCs is likely to have contracted in the upper teens in first quarter 2009 compared to a year ago.”

HP was the No. 1 vendor in the U.S., accounting for 21 percent of PC shipments in first quarter 2009 (see Table 2). HP took top position in the U.S. market for the first time since 2001. HP’s strong portfolio of low priced consumer mobile PCs helped drive HP’s growth in the U.S. home market while its improved channel programs helped it to increase share in the professional market. 

Dell was severely challenged by tough competition in the retail space. This, combined with the weak U.S. professional market, dropped Dell into the No. 2 position in the overall U.S. market. Acer’s strong growth was fueled by low priced mobile PCs, its solid presence in the retail space, as well as in channels. Analysts think that Apple’s relatively higher ASP created challenges for it in the tough economy, but that its deft control of inventories limited its shipment decline.

Table 2
Preliminary United States PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 1Q09 (Thousands of Units)


1Q09 Shipments

1Q09 Market Share (%)

1Q08 Shipments

1Q08 Market Share (%)

1Q09-1Q08 Growth (%)







Dell Inc.












Apple Computer
























Note: Data includes desk-based PCs, mobile PCs and X86 servers.
Source: Gartner (April 2009)

The EMEA PC market experienced a double-digit decline in growth for the first time. PC shipments in EMEA totaled 22.7 million units, a 10.2 percent decline from the same period last year. The slowdown impacted all parts of the market with the professional segment declining more sharply than the consumer market. Nonetheless, consumer mobile shipments experienced some growth in select countries, with Toshiba and Acer among the few vendors to benefit.

PC shipments in Asia/Pacific registered 18.2 million units in the first quarter of 2009, a 5.5 percent decline from the first quarter of 2008. The professional segment was strongly affected by the unfolding economic slowdown in the region. The home market was less affected because vendors were aggressive in stimulating demand by adjusting prices downward, bundling promotions, and conducting road shows targeting the market.

In Latin America, PC shipments totaled 5.5 million units in the first quarter of 2009, a 12.4 percent decline from the same period last year. Inventory levels remain higher than desired for vendors in most countries. PC vendor inventory orders often take 60 days to arrive and few, if any, vendors anticipated such a bad fourth quarter. PC shipments remain low because of generally weaker end-user demand and because of higher than desired inventories.

PC shipments in Japan surpassed 4.0 million units in the first quarter of 2009, a 3.8 percent decline. In the professional market, PC shipment declined 18 percent as enterprises delayed replacements by stretching PC lifetimes, and small and midsize businesses were constrained by the credit crunch. The home market is likely to have grown 17 percent in the first quarter, driven by strong growth in mini-notebooks and low-end mainstream notebooks.

These results are preliminary. Final statistics will be available soon to clients of Gartner's PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region program. This program offers a comprehensive and timely picture of the worldwide PC market, allowing product planning, distribution, marketing and sales organizations to keep abreast of key issues and their future implications around the globe. Additional research can be found on Gartner's Computing Hardware section on Gartner's Web site at


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