Friday, 13 July 2018 10:01

Worldwide PC shipments grew for first time in six years during Q2 2018 Featured

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Gartner's "preliminary" data shows the worldwide PC market grew for the first time in six years, at 1.4%, while in APAC, PC shipments showed only a 0.1% increase from the second quarter of 2017, but it's not yet a recovery.

Worldwide PC shipments totalled 62.1 million units in the second quarter of 2018, a 1.4% increase from the second quarter of 2017, according to Gartner's preliminary results, driven by steady business market demand, with this the "first quarter of year-over-year global PC shipment growth since the first quarter of 2012".

Gartner says "all regions experienced some growth compared with a year ago", and also soberly notes that "while the results are a positive result for the PC industry, Gartner analysts said this sign of market stability is not enough to declare a PC industry recovery just yet".

Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, said: "PC shipment growth in the second quarter of 2018 was driven by demand in the business market, which was offset by declining shipments in the consumer segment.

"In the consumer space, the fundamental market structure, due to changes on PC user behaviour, still remains, and continues to impact market growth. Consumers are using their smartphones for even more daily tasks, such as checking social media, calendaring, banking and shopping, which is reducing the need for a consumer PC.

"In the business segment, PC momentum will weaken in two years when the replacement peak for Windows 10 passes. PC vendors should look for ways to maintain growth in the business market as the Windows 10 upgrade cycle tails off."

With the completion of Lenovo's joint venture with Fujitsu, Gartner notes that "three out of four PCs were shipped by the top five PC vendors in the second quarter of 2018.

"With the inclusion of Fujitsu’s PC shipments due to the joint venture (a formation of Joint Venture with Fujitsu), Lenovo was in a virtual tie with HP Inc. for the top spot in the second quarter of 2018 based on global PC shipments (see Table 1). All of the top five PC vendors experienced an increase in worldwide PC shipments in the quarter."


Notes: Data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs and ultramobile premiums (such as Microsoft Surface), but not Chromebooks or iPads. All data is estimated based on a preliminary study. Final estimates will be subject to change.

The statistics are based on shipments selling into channels. Numbers may not add up to totals shown due to rounding.

Lenovo's results include Fujitsu's units starting in 2Q18 to reflect the joint venture that closed in May 2018.

Source: Gartner (July 2018)

We're told that "HP Inc. had its third consecutive quarter of year-over-year PC shipment growth. HP Inc. maintained steady growth across all regions, except the U.S. In the other regions, its shipment growth well exceeded the regional averages. Lenovo experienced its highest growth rate since the first quarter of 2015".

"While Dell's competitors have shown PC shipment declines periodically in the past two years, Dell's shipments did not decline during this time because of its strong focus on growth areas, especially in the commercial segment, as well as cutting off unprofitable businesses.

"PC shipments in Asia/Pacific totalled 21.3 million units, a 0.1% increase from the second quarter of 2017. India, Indonesia, Thailand and other emerging markets in Asia showed improvement in the commercial segment due to demand for replacing ageing PCs and upgrading to Windows 10. In China, PC shipments declined 3.6% year over year as some business procurements have been postponed to 2019, and the consumer market is saturated."

Finally, as Gartner advises, "these results are preliminary. Final statistics will be available soon to clients of Gartner's PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region program. This program offers a comprehensive and timely picture of the worldwide PC market, allowing product planning, distribution, marketing and sales organisations to keep abreast of key issues and their future implications around the globe".

So, there you have it. An uptick in sales has been eked out, primarily due to the business PC replacement cycle, and although Gartner doesn't say it, one wonders how much AMD's Ryzen competition has helped spark competition and drive earlier replacement cycles than would otherwise have been the case, despite Intel's own moves to strike back with better processors of its own.

A question for you, dear reader: are you reading this on your desktop computer, your smartphone, or your tablet? My guess is that most iTWire readers are reading this on work PCs, but with smartphones the majority of the way many people consume information... if you have time, leave a comment stating which device you read this on for an impromptu mini survey of readers.

For those wondering, this article was written on an Intel-powered personal computer... made by Apple, a MacBook Pro Retina 13-inch 2013 model, but I read plenty of articles on computer, smartphone and tablet screens.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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