HP Inc leads amid falling global PC shipments: Gartner

PC Market Moving Toward Stabilization: Garner & IDC

Two big analysts weigh in on the state of the PC market

IT and International Data Corporation ("IDC") - yesterday reported worldwide PC shipment data for the fourth quarter of 2017. China experienced its first positive PC shipment growth since the first quarter of 2012.

Figures released by IDC indicate the market enjoyed its first positive holiday quarter shipment growth in six years, with shipments totalling 70.6 million units for a 0.7% increase year-on-year.

"The fourth quarter results confirmed again that PCs are no longer popular holiday gift items".

"The worldwide PC shipments stood at 71.6 million units in the fourth quarter, which is a two per cent decline from the fourth quarter of 2016". PC revenue is expected to be up year over year in Western Europe.

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The company said that the U.S. PC market remained a tough one due to competition from mobile devices.

For the whole of 2017, shipments amounted to over 262.5 million, a 2.8 percent decline compared to the year before. This independent research firm highlighted a very interesting fact that in the last six or seven years, the PC industry has consolidated heavily. However, IDC analysts view this as a sign that the market is steadying out, pointing to 2017 as the most stable year for the market since 2011.

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. Gartner, on the other hand, takes into account Microsoft Corporation MSFT tablets and "detachables" such as the iPad Pro and the Asus Transformer, which are not taken into account by IDC.

Gartner principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa says, "In the fourth quarter of 2017, there was PC shipment growth in Asia/Pacific, Japan and Latin America and there was only a moderate shipment decline in EMEA".

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The 4Q17 results further validate the view of a steadying, albeit still weak, traditional PC market, buoyed mainly by commercial upgrades and pockets of improving consumer PC demand. "This does not mean that PCs will disappear from households", noted Kitagawa. PC shipments were 259.5 million units during 2017. The firms agree that HP Inc.

In the States, HP (33.7 percent), was followed by Dell (24.3 percent), Apple (13 percent), Lenovo (11.8 percent), and Acer (3.9 percent) with the "others" representing 13.4 percent market share.

With shipments growing 6.6 per cent, HP Inc. witnessed Year-over-Year (YoY) growth in all regions, including the challenging USA market. Per Gartner, this was the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year shipment growth for the company in the USA market.

Lenovo had moderate growth in EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions, but shipments declined in North America. The US continues to show steep declines, offsetting gains elsewhere. The consumer market stabilized thanks to online promotions in many countries, which drove demand for gaming PCs and thin and light notebooks.

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