Worldwide shipments of PC were 61.1 million units in the second quarter of 2017, representing a 4.3% decline from Q2 2016, reports Gartner, Inc. in its preliminary results.
This marks a five-year slump for the PC industry, says the research firm, and the 11th straight quarter of declining shipments. Shipments in Q2 marked the lowest quarter volume since 2007.
"Higher PC prices due to the impact of component shortages for DRAM, solid state drives (SSDs) and LCD panels had a pronounced negative impact on PC demand in the second quarter of 2017," says Mikako Kitagawa, Principal Analyst at Gartner. "The approach to higher component costs varied by vendor. Some decided to absorb the component price hike without raising the final price of their devices, while other vendors transferred the costs to the end-user price."
The impact was felt most in the consumer market, given that in the business segment, particularly with large enterprises, price is typically locked in based on a contract that can run through a quarter of even year, notes Kitagawa. "In the consumer market," she adds, "the price hike has a greater impact as buying habits are more sensitive to price increases. Many consumers are willing to postpone their purchases until the price pressure eases."
HP Inc. reclaimed the top position from Lenovo in the worldwide PC market in Q2, showing five consecutive quarters of year-over-year growth. Shipments grew in most regions, and it did especially well in the U.S. market where shipments growth far exceeded the regional average. HP's market share for the quarter was 20.8%, representing a 3.3% rise from Q2 2016.
Rounding out the top-five was Lenovo at 19.9% share, down 8.4% from last year's quarter following two quarters of growth; Dell at 15.6%, up 1.4% and marking the fifth consecutive quarter of growth; Apple at 6.9%, down 0.4%; and Asus at 6.6%, but down 10.3%. Acer edged into the sixth spot with 6.3% share, but was down 12.5% from the previous year's quarter. The data, it should be noted, includes desktop PCs, notebook PCs, and ultramobile premiums, like the Microsoft Surface, but does not include Chromebooks or iPads. The statistics are based on shipments selling into channels. All PC vendors, Kitigawa notes, are struggling to balance share gain with profitability.
In the U.S., PC shipments totaled 14 million units in the second quarter of 2017, a 5.7% decline from the second quarter of 2016. The business market has shown consistent growth, and early indicators suggest that spending in the public sector was on track with normal seasonality as the second quarter is typically the peak PC procurement season. However, the education market was under pressure from strong Chromebook demand.
The Chromebook market has been growing much faster than the overall PC market. Worldwide, Chromebook shipments grew 38% in 2016, while the overall PC market declined 6%.
"The Chromebook is not a PC replacement as of now, but it could be potentially transformed as a PC replacement if a few conditions are met going forward," says Kitagawa. "For example, infrastructure of general connectivity needs to improve; mobile data connectivity needs to become more affordable; and it needs to have more offline capability."
Final statistics will be available soon to clients of Gartner's PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region program.