PC power continues to wane

IDC shows that Apple Scratched out mild growth in PC's for Q3 Contrary to Gartner's Voodoo Methodology

Lenovo holds on as world's No 2 PC supplier amid signs of market stability

In Asia-Pacific, PC shipments reached 24 million units in the third quarter of 2017, down 2.1 per cent from the same period a year ago with PC demand in the business segment remaining steady, especially for notebooks.

Gartner said HP Inc. experienced growth in all key regions, except the USA market.

Worldwide PC shipments reached 67 million units in the third quarter of 2017, 2.6 per cent down on the corresponding quarter a year ago, marking the twelfth consecutive quarter of declining PC shipments, claims Gartner.

Chinese technology giant Lenovo Group held on to its position as the world's second-largest supplier of personal computers in the third quarter, despite flat shipment growth that saw it struggle with weak notebook sales in North America.

IDC produced similar raw figures, tallying 67.2 million units shipped in the third quarter of 2017.

HP retained top spot, with almost 23 per cent of the total market, which also represented an impressive six per cent growth on the previous year. HP is the only company to have delivered decent PC growth at 6%, while Lenovo, Dell and Apple were all under one percent growth. "While there were signs of stabilization in the PC industry in key regions, including EMEA, Japan and Latin America, the relatively stable results were offset by the USA market, which saw a 10% year-over-year decline in part because of a very weak back-to-school sales season", said Mika Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. In the U.S. PC's experienced a notable decline with poor notebook shipments but slightly better desktop shipments. Lenovo continues to face the dilemma of market share gains versus profitability. Asus takes the fourth place, with 4.89 million units shipped in Q3 2017, a 9% decline compared with the 5.3 million units shipped on Q3 2016.

"The gains in emerging regins and potential for more commerical replacements represent some upside potential, although we continue to expect incremental declines for total shipments for the next five years", he says.

"Business PC demand, led by Windows 10 upgrades, continued to drive PC shipments across all regions, but its refresh schedule varies by region".

At the final step of the top six is Acer, which clocked 4.32 million units shipped in Q3 2017, as against 4.61 million units shipped in the same quarter previous year.

"Business PC demand is stable in the United States, but demand could slow down among SMBs due to PC price increases due to component shortages", she added.

Kitagawa said that weak back-to-school sales were further evidence that "traditional consumer PC demand drivers for PCs are no longer effective".

DRAM shortages were particularly worse during the third quarter, Gartner said, compared with the first half of 2017.

In July, research from Gartner revealed that worldwide shipments of PCs, tablets and smartphones were expected to exceed 2.3 billion units in 2017, a slight dip of 0.3 per cent from 2016.

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