HP Inc leads PC market amid falling global shipments: Gartner

HP Inc leads PC market amid falling global shipments: Gartner

Per Gartner, this was the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year shipment growth for the company in the USA market. On the other hand, as per IDC, PC shipment recorded its "first positive holiday quarter shipment growth in six years".

Like IDC, Gartner said the US PC market lagged compared to growth in Asia/Pacific, Japan and Latin America. "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 US market witnessed a steep decline as consumers were seen preferring new "popular products, such as voice-enabled speakers, and newly released smartphones" over PCs during the holiday season, per Kitagawa. IT and International Data Corporation ("IDC") - yesterday reported worldwide PC shipment data for the fourth quarter of 2017. For the year, 2017 PC shipments surpassed 262.5 million units, a 2.8 percent decline from 2016.

Jay Chou, a research manager with IDC's Personal Computing Device Tracker division, said the fourth-quarter figures showed that the industry was making some "encouraging headway" despite the hard environment for PCs, which are facing fierce competition from mobile computing devices. Kitagawa of Gartner said that "the PC will become a more specialized, purpose-driven device". Although the situation improved as the year progressed, the shortage of key components such as solid state drives (SSD) acted as a major driver of shipments for much of 2017, with top PC companies vying to lock up supply ahead of price increases and thus boosting orders.

"However, until this point is reached, the market will have to go through the shrinking phase caused by fewer PC users", Kitagawa concludes. Lenovo had moderate growth in EMEA and Asia/Pacific, but shipments declined in North America.

Apple remained in the fourth position and grew its shipments 7.3% in the fourth quarter of 2017. Generally, Dell has put a higher priority on profitability over market share.

"The fourth quarter results confirmed again that PCs are no longer popular holiday gift items". HP further consolidated its position in the U.S. market, growing its market share to 34%.

HP Inc leads PC market amid falling global shipments: Gartner

Moreover, the quarter marked the seventh consecutive quarter of overall shipment growth for HP.

"(Lenovo) continued to weather tough conditions in the U.S.as it works through management transitions and channel changes", IDC said. The success of the 11.11 shopping festival and the continuing demand for PCs in the commercial market drove the China PC market to 1.1 percent growth in the quarter. This independent research firm highlighted a very interesting fact that in the last six or seven years, the PC industry has consolidated heavily.

In the U.S. market, IDC reported the overall PC market performed below expectations in the Q4 2017, with a drop in notebook and desktop sales. PC demand in the United Kingdom was still ailing and unit shipments into Germany were weaker than expected.

The year of 2017 ended with an annual shipment volume of 259.5 million units, which represents an on-year decline of 0.2%.

These figures were echoed by IDC, which says the APeJ traditional PC market came in above their forecast in Q4 2017, with healthy demand for gaming PCs in Chinese markets bolstered by strong sales during the singles day promotion. China experienced its first positive PC shipment growth since the first quarter of 2012. "However, the growing popularity of other mobile form factors continued to have a dampening effect and led the overall US PC market to perform below expectations". In 2011, the top four vendors accounted for 45 percent of PC shipments.

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