Market research firm IDC reports second-quarter sales of traditional laptop and desktop PC systems fell 3.3 percent year-over-year to 60.54 million units. The figure is slightly better than expected, IDC previously anticipated for a 3.9 percent drop. IDC attributes the better than expected sales to an easing of component shortages:
Worldwide shipments of traditional PCs (desktop, notebook, workstation) totaled 60.5 million units in the second quarter of 2017 (2Q17), posting a year-on-year decline of 3.3%, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. The results tilted just above the previous forecast that called for a decline of 3.9%, and hewed to the expectation that unlike past seasonal patterns of significant positive sequential growth, second quarter volume showed only a modest uptick from the first quarter.
Whereas one factor affecting shipments during the past several quarters was an inventory buildup caused by shortages of key components such as SSD (Solid State Drive), the second quarter operated under less harsh constraints, though in some instances component shortages still played a role in driving shipment dynamics. Moreover, as expected, the increased bill of materials (BOM) cost due to the shortage also began to impact the final price of systems, which was also factored into IDC's original assumption of inhibiting shipments.
From a geographic perspective, mature markets generally outperformed emerging markets, with Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) and Latin America in particular showing weakness, though Latin America did outperform IDC's original forecast. The U.S. posted just a slight decline but otherwise also pulled ahead of forecast in part due to Chromebook activity. Japan again posted positive growth, in part against the backdrop of tough market conditions in 2015 through the first half of 2016.
"Amid some unevenness in market trends across the regions, the global PC market has continued to trend toward stabilization," said Jay Chou, research manager, IDC Worldwide Personal Computing Device Tracker. "Despite recent issues wrought by component shortages and its effect on system prices, we expect the momentum of commercial market replacements will contribute to eventual market growth. Consumer demand will remain under pressure, although growth in areas like PC gaming and the increasingly attractive portfolio of sleek Windows-based systems will help push the consumer market to stabilize as well."
"The U.S. PC market continues to hold, with an estimated 0.4% contraction in 2Q17," added Linn Huang, research director, Devices & Displays. "The U.S. market remains relatively immune to currency issues in other regions. Chromebooks for K-12 continued its momentum unabated, and Apple appears to be back on track with an uncharacteristically poor 2016 in its rearview mirror."
5 Vendors, Worldwide Traditional PC Shipments, Second Quarter 2017
(Shipments are in thousands of units)
1. HP Inc
3. Dell Inc
Source: IDC Worldwide
Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, July 12, 2017