IDC: Worldwide PC sales totaled 67.2M in Q3

IDC: Worldwide PC sales totaled 67.2M in Q3

IDC: Worldwide PC sales totaled 67.2M in Q3

Headlines about declining PC sales are noting new - in fact the real news would be if computer sales actually increased during a quarter.

PC shipments totalled 67 million units in the third quarter of 2017, down 3.6 per cent compared to the same period in 2016. Improvement in emerging markets as well as back-to-school promotions helped boost results.

Third-ranked Dell shipped 10.8 million units for a 16.1 per cent global market share. While their shipments were similar, HP has been on an upward trend, while Lenovo seems to be losing steam.

Gartner and IDC analysts have pointed to a variety of factors of this past quarter's decline, including component shortages. Still, it acknowledged that higher component pries and inventory limited shipments in some markets. Not surprisingly, competitive pressures further cemented the dominance of the top five PC companies, which accounted for almost 75% of the total traditional PC market.

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Gartner disagreed with that finding, saying, "There are ongoing component shortages, with DRAM shortages getting particularly worse during the third quarter of the year compared with the first half of 2017".

Apart from the U.S. market pulling down global numbers, the shortages of certain components such as the DRAM led to changes in component prices.

Gartner claims, however, that the PC market saw "stabilisation" in EMEA, Japan and Latin America, but the United States market experienced a 10 per cent year-on-year decline after a "very weak" back-to-school sales season.

Business PC demand, led by Windows 10 upgrades, continued to drive shipments across all regions, but its refresh schedule varies by region. "The countries with stable economies, such as the US, have created a positive sentiment among businesses, especially for small and midsized businesses, which are more vulnerable to external events, such as economic or political".

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"Despite the overall contraction, Chromebooks remain a source of optimism as the category gains momentum in sectors outside education, especially in retail and financial services", IDC senior research analyst of devices and displays Neha Mahajan said in a statement.

Among the top players, HP Inc was the only company to record a notable increase, with its shipments up 6%, lengthening its lead on the market to almost 23% share.

Gartner indicated a much closer race between HP and Lenovo. HP is the only PC maker to have registered a growth in this quarter, while the five big PC makers that follow it are all witnessing declines in shipments, to various degrees. The performance was good enough to capture 6.9 percent of the market, identical to Apple's second quarter results as determined by the market research firm.

Loverde says the global outlook for the fourth quarter remains cautious, with a small decline in volume for the quarter and the year likely.

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