There are many reasons for the return – Windows 10 hybrids like the Microsoft Surface Pro and convertibles like HP’s x360 series are hotly favoured devices, mature markets are now on a refresh cycle from the 2011 peak, Windows 10 is driving commercial uptake, Windows 10 PC gaming is back, and tablets are no longer the PC killer category they were as full-fat and full featured hybrids take over.
From a geographic perspective, mature markets outperformed emerging markets. All regions exceeded forecast except for the United States which posted a slight decline. Despite the generally positive trends, Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) and Latin America continued to see year-over-year volume declines.
Jay Chou, research manager, IDC PCD Tracker, said, “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.
|Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide Traditional PC Shipments, First Quarter 2017 (Preliminary)
(Shipments are in thousands of units)
|Vendor||1Q17 Shipments||1Q17 Market Share||1Q16 Shipments||1Q16 Market Share||1Q17/1Q16 Growth|
|1. HP Inc||13,143||21.8%||11,621||19.4%||13.1%|
|5. Acer Group||4,121||6.8%||4,006||6.7%||2.9%|
|Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, 11 April, 2017|
HP Inc has benefitted from its separation from its enterprise division. Its x2 hybrid and x360 formats now cover from low-cost consumer to high-reliability enterprise Elite mil-spec devices.
Lenovo has done well in China and Asia – its fortunes in the US, UK, and Australia are mixed.
Dell is doing well at Lenovo’s expense with growth in every region, except the US, from strong corporate notebook volumes.
Apple kept the fourth position, as it has done for some years, and grew 4.1% year over year mainly with the new MacBook touch bar models.
Acer had a difficult 2016 but has come back with new models like the Sprint and Spin 7 and almost knocked Apple off its fourth place. Acer has repositioned as the value brand and its volumes will increase.
Linn Huang, research director, Devices and Displays at IDC, said, "A long-term threat to the overall PC market lies in how the market ultimately settles on the detachable (hybrid) versus convertible (5-in-one or 360° hinge form factors) debate.
"Detachable shipments have dwarfed those of convertibles but have slowed a bit. In IDC's 2017 US Consumer PCD Survey, detachable owners held slightly more favourable attitudes than convertible owners to their devices. However, owners of both were far more likely to recommend a convertible over a detachable."