PC shipment reports from research firms Gartner and IDC do not offer much relief to PC vendors such as HP, Dell, Lenovo, Apple and Acer. Microsoft and Intel will also continue to face struggle in the global PC market.
Gartner said PC shipments fell 1.4 percent to 61.7 million units in the first quarter of 2018. The global PC market posted 14th consecutive quarter of decline, dating back to the second quarter of 2012.
IDC said shipments of traditional PCs reached 60.4 million units and recorded flat (0.0 percent) growth in the first quarter of 2018.
Build up in commercial renewal activity is the main driver for the stabilizing trend in the PC market. Business PC marker such as HP, Dell, and Lenovo have benefitted from business uptake of Windows 10 systems.
Demand for premium notebooks in both the consumer and commercial segments have helped major tech vendors retain better margins and garner buyer interest. Focus on gaming systems has injected slight improvement in pockets of the consumer space.
PC shipments in Asia Pacific fell 3.9 percent, while shipments in the U.S. dipped 2.9 percent in Q1 2018. China’s PC market dropped 5.7 percent.
“This was driven by China’s business market, where some state-owned and large enterprises postponed new purchases or upgrades, awaiting new policies and officials’ reassignments after the session of the National People’s Congress in early March,” Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, said.
“The component shortage that initially impacted portions of 2017 led some vendors to stock up inventory to avoid expected component price hikes, and that led to some concerns of excess stock that would be hard to digest in subsequent quarters,” said Jay Chou, research manager with IDC’s Personal Computing Device Tracker.
Neha Mahajan, senior research analyst, Devices & Displays at IDC, said a rise in commercial activity amidst a positive economic environment is expected to strengthen PC demand. The retail platform too shows signs of stability especially with a fast-growing gaming community adding to the confidence.
HP, Lenovo and Dell accounted for 56.9 percent of PC shipments in the first quarter of 2018, compared with 54.5 percent of shipments in the first quarter of 2017.
Dell achieved the strongest growth rate among the top six PC makers, as its global PC sales increased 6.5 percent.
HP Inc.’s PC shipments increased 2.8 percent. HP Inc. was adversely impacted by declining demand in the U.S., which generally accounts for one-third of its total shipments.
Lenovo’s PC shipments remained flat in the first quarter of 2018. Lenovo achieved 6 percent growth in EMEA. Lenovo’s PC sales in Asia Pacific, its largest market, declined 4 percent in Q1 2018.
Dell grew in all regions except Asia Pacific. Dell’s desktop and mobile PCs grew in equal measures, showing Dell’s strength in the business segment.
HP achieved 4.3 percent year on year growth in global PC market thanks to growth in all regions except Latin America.
Lenovo’s PC market growth was flat in Q1 2018, the third consecutive quarter in which the China-based devices company saw year-on-year volume stabilize with flat global growth and a slower pace of decline in the U.S.
Dell Inc. posted 6.4 percent growth buoyed by strong performances in nearly every region.
Acer is the fourth largest PC vendor.
Apple is the fifth largest PC market though its global shipment fell 4.8 percent.