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PC Shipments Decline 10% In 2013

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gartner reported worldwide PC shipments dropped by nearly 7% in the fourth quarter of 2013 and registered a 10% drop for the entire year.

According to the latest numbers, the PC industry endured its worst year in market history but Gartner analysts believe the numbers may have reached their low point.

Mikako Kitagawa, Gartner's principal analyst said, "Although PC shipments continued to decline in the worldwide market in the fourth quarter, we increasingly believe markets, such as the U.S., have bottomed out as the adjustment to the installed base slows."

The global fourth quarter numbers (measuring desktops and portables) show Lenovo at the top of the list with 18.1% market share for units shipped (up 6.6% from the fourth quarter of 2012), Hewlett Packard (HPQ - Get Report) with 16.4% (down 7.2%), Dell 11.8% (up 6.2%), Acer 7.8% (a loss of 16%) and Asus with 6.5% (down 19%).

In the U.S. market, HP was first with 26.5%, Dell second with a 22.8% share, Apple (AAPL) third at 13.7%, then Lenovo (9.7%) and Toshiba (7.2%).

Worldwide, for all of 2013, Lenovo leads the way, followed by HP, Dell, Acer and Asus. Overall, total PC shipments declined 10.0% from 351-million in 2012 to just under 316-million units in 2013.

Although there are no signs that Lenovo might soon abandon the PC format, there is word the company is busy working on expanding its line of portables based on Google (GOOG) operating systems. Lenovo is reportedly working on a number of new Chromebooks as well as laptops which run on the Android operating system.

According to CNet, Jay Parker, president of Lenovo's North American operation, sad his company will be producing "multiple Chromebooks" at different price points "by the summer." Lenovo currently sells one ruggedized Chromebook model designed for educational use.

Lenovo is reportedly busy working on Android-powered laptops in addition to its Android tablets and smartphones. The IdeaPad A10 sports a 10.1-inch (1366 by 768) touchscreen, 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of expandable storage. Not yet available in the United States but is in a number of overseas markets including Great Britain where it's currently selling for 200 pounds ($328 USD).

Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) reportedly isn't quite ready to give up on its Surface PC business. According to recent tweets by @MSFTnerd, Microsoft is busy working on a Surface 3 tablet with the just-announced-at CES, 64-bit, Nvidia (NVDA) Tegra K1 processor, as well as a Surface Mini and an Xbox TV device which might use  AMD's (AMD)  new Mullins processor instead of a custom designed Samsung chip.

The new Microsoft devices are expected to reach the marketplace later this year.

 -- Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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