HP Inc leads PC market amid falling global shipments: Gartner

HP Inc leads PC market amid falling global shipments: Gartner

The bulk of the growth, IDC claims, came from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) regions, while Japan itself is highlighted as the overall victor with 3.8 percent growth for the quarter - 'due to rising demand from Windows 10 migration, ' IDC's analysts opine.

HP continues to lead as the top PC vendor worldwide with 8.3 percent growth year-over-year in Q4 shipments.

They also both noted flat results from Lenovo, with a global decline in sales resulting largely from weak USA figures, despite growth in every other region. "There was only a moderate shipment decline in EMEA", said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

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 United States saw declines, according to the report.

Worldwide PC shipments fell again in the fourth quarter and full year 2017, the 13th consecutive quarterly and the sixth year of annual decline, according to the latest preliminary study from Gartner.

In terms of individual companies, HP Inc. pulled further ahead as the top company, maintaining its lead through every quarter of 2017.

"The fourth quarter results showed some potentially encouraging headway against the hard environment in retail and consumer PCs", Jay Chou, research manager with IDC's Personal Computing Device Tracker, said in a press release.

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"The solid holiday consumer sales provided enough momentum for the PC market to stabilize a bit further", said Neha Mahajan, senior research analyst, Devices & Displays.

"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". But because it failed to keep pace with the overall market's 0.7% growth, the company actually saw its share of the global market fall slightly to 22.2% from a previous 22.4%.

According to IDC, global PC shipments were up 0.7 percent year on year to 70.6 million, with Gartner claiming shipments dropped two percent to 71.6 million. In addition to being a traditionally strong quarter in the consumer segment, fourth-quarter 2017 shipments in the commercial space were strong, particularly driven by renewal projects that were postponed earlier. The Asia Pacific region (excluding Japan) also showed growth and strong demand, bolstered by the Singles Day sales.

It says China experienced its first positive PC shipment growth since the first quarter of 2012. Outside of the US, Lenovo made solid gains growing 3.9% on year with solid notebook shipments during the quarter. For the entirety of 2017, it puts the decrease at 2.8 percent.

"The top vendors have taken advantage of their volume operations to lower production costs, pushing small to midsize vendors out of the market", Kitagawa said.

"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. Lenovo came in second with 22.2 percent, and Dell followed up in third with 15.7 percent.

Kitagawa adds that while the market is complicated, PCs aren't dead yet.

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