Taipei, Jan. 12 (CNA) Taiwan-based PC vendors Asustek Computer Inc. (華碩) and Acer Inc. (宏碁) saw their PC shipments fall in 2016 as the global market weakened, recording a consecutive year-on-year drop since 2012, according to U.S.-based market information advisory firm Gartner.
In a statement posted on its website Wednesday, Gartner cited preliminary statistics as saying that Asustek shipped 20.61 million PCs last year, down 2.6 percent from a year earlier.
However, the company's global market share rose to 7.6 percent in 2016 from 7.4 percent seen in 2015 to grasp the title as the fourth- largest PC brand in the world, unchanged from a year earlier, the data shows.
For its part, Acer's PC shipments for 2016 also fell 9.9 percent from 2015 to 18.28 units, giving the firm a 6.8 percent share of the global market, Gartner said. Acer's global market share dropped from 7.1 percent from a year earlier and took sixth place in the world market, Gartner added.
In 2016, PC shipments worldwide totaled 269.72 million units, down 6.2 percent from a year earlier, according to Gartner.
"The broader PC market has been static, as technology improvements have not been sufficient to drive real market growth," Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa said in the statement.
Although PC brands had been gearing up to introduce innovations such as like 2-in-1s and thin and light notebook computers, such technology improvements failed to reverse the weakness in the market, the analyst said.
"This end of the market has grown fast, led by engaged PC users who put high priority on PCs. However, the market driven by PC enthusiasts is not big enough to drive overall market growth," Kitagawa said.
In addition, the analyst said that consumers' dependency on smartphones for using the Internet was growing, which lowered the use of PCs and delayed their replacement.
China's Lenovo Group (聯想) ranked as the largest PC vendor in the world last year, shipping 55.89 million units, down 2.4 percent from 2015, with its market share rising to 20.7 percent from 19.9 percent a year earlier, Gartner said.
U.S.-based HP Inc. came in second with a 19.4 percent market share in 2016, shipping 52.46 million PCs, down 0.2 percent from a year earlier. Dell Inc., also U.S.-based was third, with 39.38 million PCs shipped for a 14.6 percent of global market share.
Apple Inc. ranked the fifth-largest PC vendor in 2016, shipment of 18.61 million units and a market share of 6.9 percent.
In the fourth quarter alone, worldwide PC shipments fell 3.7 percent from a year earlier to 72.62 million units, Gartner said.
Asustek and Acer took 7.5 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively, of the global market share in the October-December period, to rank as the fourth- and sixth-largest vendors, Gartner said.
(By Hsu Jui-cheng and Frances Huang)