Home Market PC sales decline 4.3% in Q2, 2017 – 11 straight quarters of declining sales (Gartner)
PC sales decline 4.3% in Q2, 2017 – 11 straight quarters of declining sales (Gartner) Featured

Worldwide PC shipments totalled 61.1 million units in Q2, 2017, a 4.3% year-on-year drop, according to international research firm Gartner.

The PC industry is in a five-year slump, and this is the 11th straight quarter of declining shipments. Shipments in the second quarter of this year were the lowest quarter volume since 2007.

Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, said, “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. 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.

“However, in the business segment, vendors could not increase the price too quickly, especially in large enterprises where the price is typically locked in based on the contract, which often run through the quarter or even the year. In the consumer market, 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 has the number one position and is the only PC maker to experience five consecutive quarters of growth. For the most part, this is due to the renewed vigour after the split from HPE under Australian-born chief executive Dion Weisler and a new HP focus on design (what it looks like) and R&D (what is under the bonnet).

“The real trick in this business is to segment the market, segment again and when you've done that do it one more time. Figure out where the pockets of growth are going to be, where the heat map is going to take you. We've been looking at areas of premium and gaming – very attractive parts of the market as services,” he said.

In the notebook space alone it has entry level student, Pavilion, Envy, Spectre, EliteBook, and Z-Book – by far the widest range covering all the “pockets of growth”.

The table below is for the world and the second is for the US only.

Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2Q17 (Thousands of Units)


Company

2Q17 Shipments

2Q17 Market Share (%)

2Q16 Shipments

2Q16 Market Share (%)

2Q17-2Q16 Growth (%)

HP Inc.

12,690

20.8

12,285

19.2

3.3

Lenovo

12,188

19.9

13,305

20.8

-8.4

Dell

9,557

15.6

9,421

14.7

1.4

Apple

4,236

6.9

4,252

6.7

-0.4

Asus

4,036

6.6

4,501

7.0

-10.3

Acer Group

3,850

6.3

4,402

6.9

-12.5

Others

14,546

23.8

15,710

24.6

-7.4

Total

61,105

100.0

63,876

100.0

4.3

Preliminary US PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2Q17 (Thousands of Units)


Company

2Q17 Shipments

2Q17 Market Share (%)

2Q16 Shipments

2Q16 Market Share (%)

2Q17-2Q16 Growth (%)

HP Inc.

4,270

30.5

4,008

27.0

6.5

Dell

3,874

27.7

3,801

25.6

1.9

Lenovo

1,848

13.2

2,207

14.9

-16.3

Apple

1,649

11.8

1,825

12.3

-9.6

Asus

447

3.2

754

5.1

-40.7

Others

1,921

13.7

2,257

15.2

-14.9

Total

14,009

100.0

14,852

100.0

-5.7

Data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs and ultramobile premiums (such as Surface and iPad Pro), but not Chromebooks or tablets like iPads. 

Lenovo’s global shipments declined 8.4% in the second quarter of 2017, after two quarters of growth. Lenovo recorded year-over-year shipment declines in all key regions. The results could reflect Lenovo’s strategic shift from unit share gains to margin protection. The strategic balance between share gain and profitability is a challenge for all PC vendors.

Dell achieved five consecutive quarters of year-on-year global shipment growth, as shipments increased 1.4% in 2Q17. Dell has put a high priority on PCs as a strategic business. Among the top three vendors, Dell is the only vendor which can supply the integrated IT needs to businesses under the Dell Technologies umbrella of companies.

Gartner offered no reasons for the decline of Apple and the even steeper decline of Asus in the US market. Analysts including CIO Magazine have said that Mac shipments have been savaged by HP, Lenovo, Dell and Microsoft offering high-end, quality, touch enabled, devices at lower costs than Macs. Another reason offered was the lack of Mac updates and a growing frustration with Apple by Mac users.

Asus is number five and while it makes some excellent kit it is the one that others like Acer et al are gunning for to get a top five spot.

The Chromebook market has been growing much faster than the overall PC market. Gartner does not include Chromebook shipments within the overall PC market, but it is moderately affecting the PC market. Worldwide Chromebook shipments grew 38% in 2016, while the overall PC market declined 6%.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

 

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