SINGAPORE (July 12): Worldwide PC shipment for the second quarter was down 5.2% y-o-y to 64.3 million units, extending the decline to seven straight quarters. During the quarter, all regions except North America saw a drop in volume. However, Gartner, which released these statistics, sees signs of improvement.

“One of the ongoing problems in the PC market has been the price hike in selected regions due to the weakening local currency against the US dollar,” says Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

“The price issue has impacted the EMEA and Latin America regions for the past year. However, PC shipment declines became rather modest in the second quarter compared with previous quarters, which suggests a fading currency impact,” she adds.

Among the major PC makers, Apple saw the biggest y-o-y decline of 4.9% during the quarter. By contrast, Dell posted the best improvement, with a 3.3% growth. Lenovo, still the largest PC maker by market share, saw a decline of 2.2% during 2Q. HP, Asus and Acer were all able to grow as well, albeit marginally.

Within Asia Pacific, the PC market shrank by a bigger pace than the worldwide average. During the quarter, just 22.7 million units were shipped, down 6.3% y-o-y.

Gartner attributes the weakness to some country-specific factors. For example, there were elections in Australia, the Philippines and South Korea, thus causing public spending, including on IT, to be held back. PC shipments in China declined 6.4%. Business confidence is weak in China, and this affects consumer buying patterns, adds Gartner.