Q1 2017 PC shipments may or may not be up

Posted on Thursday, Apr 13 2017 @ 13:36 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
It's that time of the quarter that both IDC and Gartner provide an update about global PC sales. This time both companies offer a contradicting tale. IDC for instance claims sales of PCs posted 0.6 percent year-over-year growth in Q1 2017, marking the first move into the positive territory since Q1 2012. IDC claims total PC sales came in at 60.33 million units in Q1 2017, with HP, Lenovo, Dell, Apple and Acer being the largest PC shippers. These five companies had a marketshare of 21.8 percent, 20.4 percent, 15.9 percent, 7.0 percent, and 6.8 percent, respectively.
"The traditional PC market has been through a tough phase, with competition from tablets and smartphones as well as lengthening lifecycles pushing PC shipments down roughly 30% from a peak in 2011," said Jay Chou, research manager, IDC PCD Tracker. "Nevertheless, users have generally delayed PC replacements rather than giving up PCs for other devices. The commercial market is beginning a replacement cycle that should drive growth throughout the forecast. Consumer demand will remain under pressure, although growth in segments like PC Gaming as well as rising saturation of tablets and smartphones will move the consumer market toward stabilization as well."
But if you head over to Gartner you see their analysts picked up a 2.4 percent decline to 62.2 million units shipped in the first quarter of this year. Gartner points out this is the first time since 2007 that they've come up with a number below 63 million units per quarter. The research firm identifies Lenovo, HP, Dell, ASUS and Apple as the biggest five PC makers, with marketshare of 19.9 percent, 19.5 percent, 15.0 percent, 7.3 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively.
The PC industry experienced modest growth in the business PC market, but this was offset by declining consumer demand. Consumers continued to refrain from replacing older PCs, and some consumers have abandoned the PC market altogether. The business segment still sees the PC as an important device, and it's the main work device for businesses.

"While the consumer market will continue to shrink, maintaining a strong position in the business market will be critical to keep sustainable growth in the PC market. Winners in the business segment will ultimately be the survivors in this shrinking market," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "Vendors who do not have a strong presence in the business market will encounter major problems, and they will be forced to exit the PC market in the next five years. However, there will also be specialized niche players with purpose-built PCs, such as gaming PCs and ruggedized laptops."

"The top three vendors — Lenovo, HP and Dell — will battle for the large-enterprise segment. The market has extremely limited opportunities for vendors below the top three, with the exception of Apple, which has a solid customer base in specific verticals."

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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