After two quarters of decline, the worldwide PC market grew 1.5% in the second quarter of 2019, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc.
Shipments totaled 63 million units in the second quarter of 2019, up modestly from 62 million units in the second quarter of 2018.
"Worldwide PC shipments growth was driven by demand from the Windows 10 refresh in the business market in the second quarter of 2019," says Mikako Kitigawa, Senior Principal Analyst at Gartner. "Desktop PC growth was strong, which offset a decline in mobile PC shipments. Additionally, there are signs that the Intel CPU shortage is easing, which has been an ongoing impact to the market for the past 18 months. The shortage mainly impacted small and midsize vendors as large vendors took advantage and continued to grow, taking market share away from the smaller vendors that struggled to secure CPUs."
The ongoing trade dispute, and potential imposition of tariffs, adds uncertainty to the near-term outlook for PC demand, however
"While the U.S.-China trade war did not impact the PC market in the second quarter of 2019, the next phase of tariffs could have significant impact," adds Kitigawa. "Most laptops and tablets are currently manufactured in China and sales of these devices in the U.S. could face significant price increases if the punitive tariffs are imposed and vendors do not take quick action to respond."
The top three vendors - Lenovo, HP Inc. and Dell - accounted for 64.1% of global PC shipments in the second quarter of 2019, compared with 60.7% of shipments in the second quarter of 2018.These top three vendors continued to gain share in the PC market taking advantage of economies of scale. Intel's CPU supply shortage in the first half of the year accelerated this trend.
Lenovo had 25% market share, up from 21.9% in Q2 2018, while HP had 22.2% (22% in 2018), and Dell 16.9% (16.8% in 2018). Apple snagged 5.9% share, down slightly from 6% in Q2 2018. Rounding out the list was Acer was 5.4% share and Asus with 4.9%. Other brands accounted for 19.6%. The data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs and ultramobile premiums (such as Microsoft Surface), but not Chromebooks or iPads.
Lenovo experienced the fastest year-over-year growth and the largest share gain among the top vendors. However, it is possible that its shipments reflected some anticipation of the potential tariffs. Lenovo experienced double-digit shipment growth in all key regions except Latin America, where the overall PC market declined.
Strong business PC demand boosted HP Inc.'s growth across all key regions and offset weaker mobile PC shipments. Gartner does not include Chromebooks in the PC market, but HP Inc. experienced strong growth in Chromebooks shipments and will most likely remain the leader in the segment.
Dell recorded its sixth consecutive quarter of PC shipment growth in the second quarter of 2019. Dell's growth trend has been the most consistent out of the top vendors over the past three years, driven by its clear focus on where the company invests.
In the U.S., PC shipments totaled 14 million units in the second quarter of 2019, a 0.4% decline from the second quarter of 2018. HP Inc. retained the top spot in the U.S. based on shipments, as its market share increased to 29.8%. Dell remained in the number-two position with 28.4% market share. In the U.S., Apple has a much more significant market share at 10.9%, though it was still down from 11.5% in Q2 2018. Lenovo showed the most growth at a 12.2% increase, and Acer was down the most at 13.1% compared to the same period last year.