Electronics

HP leads shipments amid sluggish global PC market

HP leads shipments amid sluggish global PC market

Both IDC and Gartner show HP as the top vendor in Q3, with Lenovo close behind.

Worldwide shipments of traditional PCs (desktop, notebook, workstation) totaled 67.2 million units in the third quarter of 2017 (3Q17), which translates into a slight year-over-year decline of 0.5%, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker.

The latest quarter continues the trend of a relatively stabilizing PC market after a very hard past few years in which sales continued to plummet each quarter. Hardware makers like HP Inc. and Dell Technologies risk upsetting business customers if they raise the prices of their PCs to offset the rising costs of components like flash memory. The performance was good enough to capture 6.9 percent of the market, identical to Apple's second quarter results as determined by the market research firm. The results were better than projections of a 1.4% decline, and further demonstrate the trend of market stabilization in recent quarters. In the U.S. PC's experienced a notable decline with poor notebook shipments but slightly better desktop shipments.

Among the hardest hit companies was Asus, which saw sales decline 9 percent during Q3 2017 to 4.89 million units.

Additionally, IDC reported that the components shortage actually improved this quarter and did not significantly slow down production volumes. The only consistent factor every quarter is that the PC simply isn't as in-demand as it once was.

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The market watcher said a scarcity of DRAM components, which has put a hole in the PC profits of major vendors including Dell EMC, became even more severe in the third quarter of 2017 when compared with the first half of the year.

"Business PC demand, led by Windows 10 upgrades, continued to drive PC shipments across all regions, but its refresh schedule varies by region".

Apart from the U.S. market pulling down global numbers, the shortages of certain components such as the DRAM led to changes in component prices. "The countries with stable economies, such as the US, have created a positive sentiment among businesses, especially for small and midsized businesses (SMBs), which are more vulnerable to external events, such as economic or political".

"While there were signs of stabilization in the PC industry in key regions, including EMEA, Japan and Latin America, the relatively stable results were offset by the USA market, which saw a 10 percent year-over-year decline in part because of a very weak back-to-school sales season", said principal analyst at Gartner Mika Kitagawa.

It is unclear if shipments will continue to decline for Apple or if things will eventually pick up, so we'll just have to wait and see. Further, it represented the 12th straight quarter of declining PC shipments.


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