The shipments of personal computer (PC) globally dropped in the second quarter this year based on the preliminary results of the study conducted by Gartner Inc (NYSE:IT), an information and technology research and advisory company.

PC Shipments

According to Gartner Inc (NYSE:IT), the worldwide PC shipments for the quarter was 76 million, down by 10.9 percent from the same period a year earlier. The research firm said that it was the fifth consecutive quarterly declines and the longest period in the history of the PC market. The study clearly demonstrates that the number of consumers who prefer to use tablets to perform their online activities continues to increase.

Gartner analyst, Mikako Kitagawa commented that the PC market reduction is connected to the contracting installed base of the device. She explained that cheaper tablets serve as a replacement for low-end PCs in mature and developed markets.

In addition, Kitagawa observed that consumers in emerging markets prefer inexpensive tablets to access the internet. She said, “In emerging markets, inexpensive tablets have become the first computing device for many people, who at best are deferring the purchase of a PC. This is also accounting for the collapse of the mini notebook market.”

PC Shipments by Region

According to Gartner Inc (NYSE:IT), the total number of PCs shipped in EMEA was 21.3 million in the second quarter, down by 16.8 percent compared with the same period in 2012. The research firm said that the unfavorable economic situation affected spending in the consumer markets in the region.

In Eastern Europe, PC shipments remained weak; consumers are primarily looking for Android-based tablets, and business buyers are subdued during the quarter.

The PC shipments in the Asia Pacific region was 26.8 million units, lower by 11.5 percent from the first quarter of 2012. All countries in the region experienced slowdown except India, which recorded slightly better shipments due to state PC tender fulfillment.

In the United States, the total volume of PCs shipped declined by 1.4 percent to 15 million units during the period. Gartner Inc (NYSE:IT) noted that the decline was lower than the past seven quarters. According to the research firm, the U.S. market grew by 8.5 percent sequentially.

PC Shipments by Brand

Data from Gartner showed that Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) and Lenovo Group Limited (ADR) (OTCMKTS:LNVGY) are closely competing against each other worldwide. Lenovo is slightly ahead with 16.7 percent market share during the quarter. The company shipped 12.67 million units with strong growth in the Americas and EMEA, but experienced significant decline in Pacific.

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) has 16.3 percent market share and shipped 12.4 million units. The company led in key regions including the EMEA, Latin America and the United States. It had been weak in Asia Pacific over the past three years, but HP’s performance in the region improved in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, Dell Inc (NASDAQ:DELL) recorded a smaller PC shipment decline at -3.9 percent in the second quarter compared with previous several quarters. The company has 11.8 percent market share and shipped 8.98 million units globally. Dell recorded decent growth in the United States and Japan, but its shipments in Asia Pacific and EMEA were weak.

According to Kitagawa, Dell Inc (NASDAQ:DELL), Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) and Lenovo Group Limited (ADR) (OTCMKTS:LNVGY) had better growth rates compared with the U.S. average, which can be attributed to an increase in the professional market.

“Our preliminary results indicate that this reduced market decline was attributed to solid growth in the professional market. Three of the major professional PC suppliers, HP, Dell and Lenovo, all registered better than U.S. average growth rate. The end of Windows XP support potentially drove the remaining PC refresh in the U.S. professional market,” said Kitagawa.

Data showed that Dell and Lenovo recorded a growth rate of 6.4 percent and 19.7 percent respectively in the United States in the second quarter. Dell shipped 3.68 million units with 22.8 percent market share compared with the 3.45 million units shipped or 22.8 percent market share in the same period in 2012. HP shipped 3.95 million units, slightly down from the 3.97 million units shipped a year ago. The company has the highest market share in the country at 26.4 percent.