Researchers at Gartner did everything but point at Steve Jobs as the reason for a decline in demand for PCs. “With the launch of the iPad 2 in February, more consumers either switched to buying an alternative device, or simply held back from buying PCs,” one expert announced Wednesday afternoon.
Worldwide demand for PCs during the first quarter of 2011 fell 1.1 percent to 84.3 million units, figures Gartner said “indicate potential sluggishness, not just a normal seasonal slowdown.”
Acer was particularly hard hit. The computer maker saw its year-to-year growth drop 12.2 percent and its market share fall to 12.9 percent. HP’s growth fell 3.4 percent and its leading market share slip to 17.6 percent, down from 18 percent.
“Acer continued to face challenges as the mini-notebook market was impacted by media tablets,” analyst Mikako Kitagawa writes. HP was impacted by “weak consumer PC demand” and issues in the Asia/Pacific region.
In the U.S., PC sales fell 6.1 percent in the first quarter to 161 million units. “As with the worldwide market, the U.S. PC market was affected by the hype surrounding media tablets. This was the third consecutive quarter of mobile PC shipment declines in the US,” Kitagawa said.
Among computer makers, Apple turned in double-digit growth amid a sea of declines. The Cupertino, Calif. iPad maker grew 18.9 percent in the quarter, increasing its market share to 9.3 percent, up from 7.3 percent, according to Gartner.