According to new numbers from Gartner, of the top five US notebook retailers, only two companies, Toshiba and Apple, shipped more notebooks in the fourth quarter of 2010 than last year. The rest – HP, Dell, and Acer – suffered year-over-year declines in the numbers of units shipped.
Of the two companies with positive gains, Apple surged ahead of Toshiba’s 14.4% improvement in units shipped for the largest year-over-year growth in the metric, 23.7%. Though at 5.6 million units, HP is number one in total units shipped for the quarter, that’s down from the 5.9 million PCs the company moved in the same quarter last year, a 6% drop. Dell, number two in total overall shipments, dropped 6.1% from last year, and Acer declined a whopping 30%.
Gartner says consumers’ interest in notebooks and netbooks slackened during the holiday season due to both general shoppers’ fatigue and the popularity of the iPad and other tablet devices. Though this particular study does not include tablet devices (only desktop and laptop PCs were counted) the firm says the growth of the media tablet has played a significant role in the PC markets of the previous year and that its role will develop further in the year to come.
Gartner also stated that better sales in the professional notebook markets helped some companies stave off the effects of weakening consumer interest. Makes sense then that Acer, being a manufacturer that emphasizes mainstream PCs and has few business notebooks, took the largest year-over-year fall in shipments.
Check out Gartner’s report for more details.