By now it’s no secret that the global economy has been struggling to make ends meet—and according to iSuppli the numbers are finally coming home to roost in PC sales. According to the company, global PC shipments during the first quarter of 2009 dropped some 8.1 percent compared to the first quarter of 2008, down to a mere 66.5 million units. But that’s not the worst of it: those numbers are a whopping 14.4 percent drop from the 72.3 million PCs shipped during the fourth quarter of 2008. The drop marks the biggest decline in the seven years iSuppli has been tracking computer sales.
“The worldwide recession sparked by the credit crisis slammed PC shipments for the second quarter in succession during the first three months of 2009,” said iSuppli principal analyst for computing platforms research Matthew Wilkins, in a statement. “The first-quarter performance of the worldwide PC market was worse than iSuppli had expected in its prior forecast, which called for a 4 percent decline in shipments compared to the same period in 2008.”
The ranking of OEM computer makers for the first quarter of 2009 didn’t change, with Hewlett-Packard still out in front with 19.7 percent of the market. Dell saw an 18.7 drop in shipments to bring it in at 13.2 percent of the market, with Acer, Lenovo, and Toshiba taking the number three, four, and five slots respectively. Toshiba actually saw the strongest growth for the quarter, with its global shipments up 13.5 percent from a year ago.
iSuppli also forecasts that netbooks will account for 14 percent of worldwide PC shipments in 2009, up from 9 percent in 2008.