PC Shipment Trend Could Spell Bad News for Apple Inc. (AAPL), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)

It is hard to argue the fact that the PC market is dying slowly. As more and more people rely on tablets and smartphones, the number of consumers using a desktop or laptop computer continues to decline. This could mean bad news for companies such as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).

While the market as a whole, throughout the world, continues to decline, some regions are taking more of a hit than others.

CONTEXT recently published a study showing just how bad things are getting in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

A Leading Company Cheaper Than 90% Of Blue Chips... And It Recently Bounced 12%In the report, the numbers related to shipments of PC units across EMEA are a real eye opener. There is no denying the fact that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and others in the industry are beginning to feel the decline.

Here is what the study had to say:

“Shipments of PC units across EMEA recorded a drop of -20% year-on-year for Q1 2013.”

As you can see, this is a huge decline when compared to the same period from 2012. One has to wonder what will happen if the same type of decline takes place from now through the first quarter of 2014. Will there eventually come a point when  Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and others simply bow out of the region?

“The steepest decrease occurred in Central & Eastern Europe, where continued inventory weaknesses in Russia contributed to a decline of 23% for the region over the first quarter of this year compared to last year. Russia itself saw PC shipments drop b y  29.1% followed by Poland with 19.6%.”

By these numbers alone, you can see that particular regions are worse off than others. However, in an overall sense, there is no reason to believe that a turnaround is coming at any point in the near future. The PC market is continuing its decline in this part of the world at a rapid pace, and there is nothing anybody can do about it: not even the top players in the industry.

Nancy Taylor, PC analyst for CONTEXT, added the following:

“While slate tables have continued to draw spend away from traditional PC’s, a number of tech vendors are expectant for Q313. We are seeing a number of launches in the hybrid PC category, attracting particularly those users looking for portability, power and touch capabilities all in one device.”

What does this mean to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)? Share your thoughts below.