Q4 PC sales up for first time in six years

PC Market Moving Toward Stabilization: Garner & IDC

In the league table of PC vendors, HP took the number one slot in the fourth quarter of 2017. Although the figures reported by both firms are different, they share a similar opinion that the worldwide PC shipment has shown concrete signs of improvement in the quarter. It was the 13th consecutive quarter of declining global PC shipments, as well as the sixth year of annual declines.

Dell Inc. held the third position in 4Q17, posting year-over-year growth of 0.7% and shipping more than 11 million units for the first time in 2017. PC revenue is expected to be up year over year in Western Europe.

For the year, 2017 PC shipments surpassed 262.5 million units, a 2.8 percent decline from 2016.

Fourth-quarter worldwide shipments grew by a modest 0.7 percent from a year ago, according to data released today from International Data Corp. But commercial upgrades and improving consumer PC demand is driving growth. Total shipments in the USA came to 16.5 million units, with HP leading.

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. It would have been all six, but Gartner thinks Asus beat Acer out of the fifth spot. There was only a moderate shipment decline in EMEA, ' said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. Good demand for gaming PCs and strong sales during the Singles Day promotion drove more shipments in the consumer PC market in China.

He added: "However, the overall PC market remains a challenging one". "Outside of the U.S., Lenovo made solid gains growing 3.9% year-over-year with solid notebook shipments during the quarter".

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"In the fourth quarter of 2017, there was PC shipment growth in Asia-Pacific, Japan and Latin America".

After a lengthy decline, this is certainly some positive news for the PC market, and it will be interesting to see if things continue to steady in the first quarter of 2018. However despite the small quarterly growth of 0.7 percent, mobile devices are continuing to have a dampening effect on the global PC market. According to Gartner, PC shipment in the country inched up 1.1% in the fourth quarter.

'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.

IDC said the figures "further validate the view of a steadying, albeit still weak" PC market, but Gartner said its own figures prove that the PC market is still in transition and will weaken further as buyers switch their attention from budget computers to high-end machines. '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.

The aforementioned positive comments on the PC market by the two industry experts will provide a respite to the PC vendors, as well as the companies which are dependent on the PC industry.

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