From a regional perspective, PC shipments in EMEA totaled 25.8 million units in the third quarter of 2012, a decline of 8.7 percent from the same quarter last year. After two quarters of positive growth in the first half of 2012, the EMEA market experienced its biggest decline in four years. The lack of appeal and innovation in PCs combined with a challenging economic environment diverted user spending elsewhere. Western Europe saw very weak shipments across all countries, as retailers reduced Windows 7 inventory in anticipation of Windows 8 products.
In Asia/Pacific, PC shipments reached 31.3 million units in the third quarter of 2012, a 5.6 percent decline from the third quarter of 2011. Weak demand was brought about as potential buyers chose to reign in or delay their purchases. China's slowing economy was more acutely felt in the region in the third quarter, creating an even more conservative approach to spending. Although there were government PC initiatives in India and China to drive PC sales, they failed to offset the general market weakness.
Preliminary results show PC shipments in Latin America surpassed 9.7 million units in the third quarter of 2012, a 6.2 percent decline from the same period last year. Mobile PC shipments were flat, and desk-based PC shipments declined 14.3 percent. Brazilian businesses and schools may postpone their IT purchasing due to the expected "Brasil Maior" tax incentives that were announced late in the quarter. The tax incentives will begin in 2013, and this is when Gartner expects IT investments to drive PC shipments into the professional segment.
In Japan, PC shipments totaled 3.7 million units in the third quarter, a 5.4 percent decline from the third quarter of 2011. The professional segment grew slightly higher than expected, but the market was impacted by the consumer segment. Most of the major vendors did not introduce new models of mainstream products in September due to the preparation for Windows 8.