HP Inc leads PC market amid falling global shipments: Gartner

HP Inc leads PC market amid falling global shipments: Gartner

The growth saw Apple boost its market share from 7.7% in Q4 2016 to 8.2% in the same quarter past year ... As the PC market has been on a decline in recent years, this marks the first growth for the holiday quarter in six years, IDC says.

Worldwide PC shipments fell again in the fourth quarter and full year 2017, the 13th consecutive quarterly and the sixth year of annual decline, according to the latest preliminary study from Gartner.

It says China experienced its first positive PC shipment growth since the first quarter of 2012. "There was only a moderate shipment decline in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA)", Mikako Kitagawa, Principal Analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. "However, the growing popularity of other mobile form factors continued to have a dampening effect and led the overall U.S. PC market to perform below expectations".

Worldwide Market Share, based on Shipments, of the Top 6 Personal Computing Device Companies, 4Q16-4Q17 (Graphic: Business Wire).

They also both noted flat results from Lenovo, with a global decline in sales resulting largely from weak U.S. figures, despite growth in every other region.

By region, The United States saw a decline in PC shipments, including a drop in both desktop and notebook sales.

According to Gartner, the Asia/Pacific PC market totalled 25 million units in the fourth quarter of 2017, which represents a 0.6 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2016.

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"The fourth quarter results showed some potentially encouraging headway against the hard environment in retail and consumer PCs", said Jay Chou, research manager with IDC's Personal Computing Device Tracker. This does not mean that PCs will disappear from households.

"However, until this point is reached, the market will have to go through the shrinking phase caused by fewer PC users", Kitagawa concludes. Four of the top five vendors experienced a decline in US PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2017. People were buying voice enabled speakers and smartphones.

IDC said the figures "further validate the view of a steadying, albeit still weak" PC market, but Gartner said its own figures prove that the PC market is still in transition and will weaken further as buyers switch their attention from budget computers to high-end machines.

Dell Inc. held the third position in 4Q17, posting year-over-year growth of 0.7% and shipping more than 11 million units for the first time in 2017. Good demand for gaming PCs and strong sales during the Singles Day promotion drove more shipments in the consumer PC market in China.

The EMEA traditional PC market continued to gain strength, thanks to notebook growth from ongoing and accelerating mobility adoption. Until then however, the market will continue to shrink.

The top four vendors worldwide in 2017 represented 64 percent of global shipments - they are HP, Lenovo, Dell, and Apple - with 21 percent, 20.8 percent, 15.2 percent and 7.4 percent respectively. All other vendors accounted for the remaining 49,716 shipments.

"The top vendors have taken advantage of their volume operations to lower production costs, pushing small to midsize vendors out of the market", Kitagawa said. This program offers a comprehensive and timely picture of the worldwide PC market, allowing product planning, distribution, marketing and sales organizations to keep abreast of key issues and their future implications around the globe.

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