Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Worldwide PC shipments declined 2% in 4Q17: Gartner

Worldwide PC shipments declined 2% in 4Q17: Gartner

"In the fourth quarter of 2017, there was PC shipment growth in Asia/Pacific, Japan and Latin America".

The IDC reports PC sales were better than expected in Q4 2017, with shipments actually growing 0.7% YoY instead of declining 1.7% as expected.

These results are preliminary.

PC shipments have been on the decline since 2011, but the 2017 holiday season actually showed some growth for the first time in six years, perhaps signaling a turnaround for the beleaguered market. Shipments grew 8.3% compared to a year ago for the seventh consecutive quarter of positive growth and volume hit more than 16 million units for the first time since the third quarter of 2011.

By region, The United States saw a decline in PC shipments, including a drop in both desktop and notebook sales.

"The US market saw a steep decline, which offset the generally positive results in other regions", Kitagawa added. Four of the top five vendors experienced a decline in US PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2017. The success of the 11.11 shopping festival and the continuing demand for PCs in the commercial market drove the China PC market to 1.1 percent growth in the quarter.

IDC said the figures "further validate the view of a steadying, albeit still weak" PC market, but Gartner said its own figures prove that the PC market is still in transition and will weaken further as buyers switch their attention from budget computers to high-end machines. The company showed year-over-year growth in all regions, including the challenging U.S. market.

IDC says a drop in both notebook and desktop sales proved to be problematic for the USA market, despite reports of a strong holiday quarter.

In terms of individual companies, HP Inc. pulled further ahead as the top company, maintaining its lead through every quarter of 2017. Lenovo came in second with 22.2 percent, and Dell followed up in third with 15.7 percent.

For the full year, the top four vendors accounted for 64 percent of global PC shipments. HP Inc was the only vendor to increase shipments in the quarter. Lenovo had moderate growth in EMEA and Asia/Pacific, but shipments declined in North America.

IDC says the Q4 results the results indicate a steadying market buoyed mainly by commercial upgrades and pockets of improving consumer PC demand.

"Enticed by a growing array of products that promise all-day battery life, high portability, and address emerging use cases that require more compute power, pockets of the consumer base are taking a serious look at these revamped PCs".

"The fourth quarter results showed some potentially encouraging headway against the hard environment in retail and consumer PCs", Jay Chou, research manager with IDC's Personal Computing Device Tracker, said in a press release. This program offers a comprehensive and timely picture of the worldwide PC market, allowing product planning, distribution, marketing and sales organizations to keep abreast of key issues and their future implications around the globe.

IDC said that growth in the PC market had been largely driven by business demand, rather than by consumer purchases - and most growth was in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. "Until this point is reached, the market will have to go through the shrinking phase caused by fewer PC users", Kitgawa added.

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