Research agencies Gartner and IDC have come out with their PC shipment data for the fourth quarter of 2017.
Gartner said PC shipments fell 2 percent year on year to 71.6 million units. IDC said PC shipments rose 0.7 percent to 70.6 million units.
“There was PC shipment growth in Asia Pacific, Japan and Latin America in the fourth quarter of 2017. There was only a moderate shipment decline in EMEA,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “However, the U.S. market saw a steep decline, which offset the generally positive results in other regions.”
Gartner said PC buyers will look for quality and functionality rather than looking for the lowest price, which will increase PC average selling prices (ASPs) and improve profitability in the long run. The PC market will have to go through the shrinking phase caused by fewer PC users until this point is reached.
IDC said the results validate the view of a steadying traditional PC market, buoyed by commercial upgrades and pockets of improving consumer PC demand.
The shortage of key components such as SSD acted as a major driver of shipments for much of 2017, with top PC companies vying to lock up supply ahead of price increases and thus boosting orders. Companies also returned their focus to the notebook market, shifting the product mix to appeal to key user segments and expanding the number of slim, convertible, and gaming systems.
“The fourth quarter results showed some potentially encouraging headway against the difficult environment in retail and consumer PCs,” said Jay Chou, research manager with IDC’s Personal Computing Device Tracker.
IDC said HP Inc. moved into the No. 1 position in the fourth quarter of 2017, as its shipments grew 6.6 percent for a market share of 22.5 percent.
Dell’s shipments grew slightly in the fourth quarter of 2017. Dell did well in EMEA, Asia/Pacific and Latin America, but it had weak results in North America. Generally, Dell has put a higher priority on profitability over market share.
Gartner said HP Inc. pulled ahead as the top PC company, maintaining its lead through every quarter of 2017. Shipments grew 8.3 percent 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.
Lenovo was the number 2 PC company in Q4 with a flat quarter compared to Q4 2016. Lenovo has continued to weather tough conditions in the U.S. as it works through management transitions and channel changes. Outside of the U.S., Lenovo made solid gains growing 3.9 percent year over year with solid notebook shipments during the quarter.
Dell Inc. held the third position, posting 0.7 percent growth and shipping more than 11 million units for the first time in 2017.
Apple remained in the fourth position and grew its shipments 7.3 percent.