Meanwhile, Acer's focus on gaming PCs and related products, as well its presence in Chromebooks, helped it to close the gap with ASUS, despite a year-over-year decline in shipments.
As for individual companies and market share, HP continued to lead with growth both in Q4 and fiscal year 2017. Lenovo had moderate growth in EMEA and Asia/Pacific, but shipments declined in North America. This was the sixth year of PC shipments being in decline but Gartner analysts are optimistic for the future.
In terms of geography, the Asia/Pacific and Latin America regions saw positive growth for PC shipments in 2017, while Europe, the Middle East, and Africa held steady, and the U.S. saw declines, according to the report.
HP saw the highest demand among the increased shipments, pulling in a market share of 22.7 percent and maintaining its lead from 2016. The year of 2017 ended with an annual shipment volume of 259.5 million units, which represents an on-year decline of 0.2%.
'The fourth quarter results showed some potentially encouraging headway against the hard environment in retail and consumer PCs, ' says Jay Chou, research manager with IDC's Personal Computing Device Tracker division, of the results.
"PC buyers will look for quality and functionality rather than looking for the lowest price, which will increase PC average selling prices and improve profitability in the long run".
"However, until this point is reached, the market will have to go through the shrinking phase caused by fewer PC users", Kitagawa concludes. "However, the overall PC market remains a challenging one".
Both analysts record steady growth for HPI, with Q4 shipment growth of 8.3% year-on-year according to IDC, and 6.6% according to Gartner.
IDC says a drop in both notebook and desktop sales proved to be problematic for the United States market, despite reports of a strong holiday quarter.
IDC noted that those figures marked 2017 as the most stable year the PC market has seen since 2011.
Dell's shipments grew slightly in the fourth quarter of 2017. Good demand for gaming PCs and strong sales during the Singles Day promotion drove more shipments in the consumer PC market in China. Unlike IDC, Gartner said Q4 2017 marked the thirteenth consecutive quarterly decline for the PC market.
For the full year, the top four vendors accounted for 64 percent of global PC shipments.
According to IDC, market demand was driven by a desire from PC suppliers to snap up machines before components shortages drive up prices further.
Across the year as a whole, Apple increased its worldwide market share from 7.1% to 7.6%, remaining in fourth place behind HP, Lenovo and Dell.
"Enticed by a growing array of products that promise all-day battery life, high portability, and address emerging use cases that require more compute power, pockets of the consumer base are taking a serious look at these revamped PCs", says IDC's Jay Chou. IDC agrees with Gartner with the trajectory of all five companies, except for Lenovo, which it estimates was flat.