Gartner and IDC published their reports about the state of the PC market in the first quarter of this year. Gartner concludes sales fell 4.6 percent to 58.52 million units, and that the top three captured more of the market. Lenovo, HP and Dell now account for 61.5 percent of PC shipments, up from 56.9 percent a year ago.
“We saw the start of a rebound in PC shipments in mid-2018, but anticipation of a disruption by CPU shortages impacted all PC markets as vendors allocated to the higher-margin business and Chromebook segment,” said Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst at Gartner. “While the consumer market remained weak, the mix of product availability may have also hindered demand. In contrast, Chromebook shipments increased by double digits compared with the first quarter of 2018, despite the shortage of entry-level CPUs. Including Chromebook shipments, the total worldwide PC market decline would have been 3.5 percent in the first quarter of 2019.”
“The supply constraints affected the vendor competitive landscape as leading vendors had better allocation of chips and also began sourcing alternative CPUs from AMD,” said Ms. Kitagawa. “The top three vendors worldwide were still able to increase shipments despite the supply constraint by focusing on their high-end products and taking share from small vendors that struggled to secure CPUs. Moreover, the constraints resulted in the top vendors shifting their product mix to the high-end segment in order to deal with the constraint — which, along with favorable component price trends, should boost profit margins.”
IDC uses a different methodology and concludes there was a 3.0 percent drop in sales to 58.48 million units. This firm thinks HP is the biggest PC shipper with a marketshare of 23.2 percent and places Lenovo at the second spot with 23.0 percent, while Gartner has Lenovo at 22.5 percent and HP at 21.9 percent.
The worldwide market for traditional PCs, inclusive of desktops, notebooks, and workstations, declined 3.0% year over year in the first quarter of 2019 (1Q19), according to preliminary results from International Data Corporation's (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. Global shipments were above expectations, reaching 58.5 million during the quarter.
Although the shortage of Intel processors, mostly at the lower end, remained a factor in seeing a contraction in 1Q19, the market performed better than expected with most regions exceeding forecast. Stronger than expected desktop shipments further boosted volume, coming on the heels of a tough previous quarter, (4Q18), which had lackluster consumer demand and desktop supply issues. Furthermore, more PC brands turned to AMD chips. All of this, combined with firms rounding the last corner on its Windows 10 migration deployments, led to a shift in the market for traditional PCs towards more commercial and premium products.
"Desktop PCs were surprisingly resilient as the commercial segment helped drive a refresh during the quarter," said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC's Mobile Device Trackers. "Capitalizing on this refresh cycle, the top vendors – HP, Lenovo, and Dell – each increased their year-over-year volume and captured additional share in the desktop PC market."
"The U.S. market saw year-over-year volumes decline in notebooks as consumer demand softened during the quarter, offsetting the modest gains we saw in desktops," said Tom Mainelli, group vice president for Devices at IDC. "Among the top U.S. PC vendors, only Lenovo saw notebook growth from the same quarter a year ago. It represents a tough start to an important year as the industry marches toward the end of life for Microsoft's Windows 7."