Thursday, 11 October 2018 10:44

Flat quarterly growth for global PC market: report Featured

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Flat quarterly growth for global PC market: report Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Worldwide shipments of PCs grew just 0.1% in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the corresponding quarter last year, to hit the 67.2 million unit mark, according to a new report from global analyst firm Gartner.

The report showed the global market for PCs had shown modest stability for two consecutive quarters, with the EMEA, Asia Pacific and Japan experiencing growth in the third quarter of 2018 and the US and Latin America declining.

Latin America showed the steepest decline of 8.5% after showing some stabilisation earlier in 2018 – but according to Gartner these results are in line with its expectations in view of processor supply constraints for the rest of the year.

“The PC market continued to be driven by steady corporate demand, which was driven by Windows 10 PC hardware upgrades. We expect the Windows 10 upgrade cycle to continue through 2020 at which point the upgrade demand will diminish,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

“Despite the third quarter typically showing strong consumer PC sales due to the back-to-school season, weakness in consumer PC demand continued, offsetting the strong sales in the business market.

peter gartner

“Although the third-quarter results did not show any material impact, the Intel CPU shortage could influence the PC market moving forward, with price increases and changes to the vendor landscape. While this shortage will have some short-term impacts, Gartner does not see any lasting impact on overall PC demand.

“Current expectation is that the shortage will continue into 2019, but Intel will prioritise the high-end CPU as well as the CPUs for business PCs. In the meantime, AMD will pick up the part of the market where Intel cannot supply CPUs.”

Gartner said Lenovo secured the top spot in the worldwide PC market with growth of 10.7%, driven by regained traction in the commercial market and its joint venture with Fujitsu.

HP dropped to second, but recorded its fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year shipment growth, showing strong desktop shipment growth, which Gartner says indicated strong demand among corporate buyers.

Dell experienced its 10th consecutive quarter of shipment growth, with growth of 5.3% in the third quarter of 2018, with the company doing well in EMEA, Asia Pacific and Japan, showing growth in both desktop and mobile PCs in these regions.

Gartner said, however, Dell’s shipments declined in Latin America and the US due to the weakness in the mobile PC market.

PC shipments in Asia Pacific totalled 24.3 million units, a 0.3% increase from the third quarter of 2017, with PC demand from the commercial segment buoying the market, Gartner noted.

Though the consumer segment in the Asia Pacific region continued to be challenging in terms of unit sales, demand remained at the midrange to premium price points, signalling purchases from consumers who look for features, functions and quality built for specific needs, Gartner said.

Shipments in China grew 0.8% in the third quarter of 2018, showing a continued gradual recovery from a steady decline over the past few quarters.

Chart: courtesy Gartner


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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