Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Global shipments of PCs slump for 12th successive quarter, research suggests

Bloomberg News  Landov              Google launched a new high-end Chromebook at a recent event in San Francisco Bloomberg News Landov Google launched a new high-end Chromebook at a recent event in San Francisco
Sherri Watson | 11 October, 2017, 19:42

Gartner, which just released its report on PC shipments in the third quarter of 2017, says that "traditional promotions", like back-to-school sales, are "no longer an effective growth driver", which is why this back-to-school sales season has been "very weak".

Gartner described a "very weak back-to-school sales season" in the US, where Apple was running a promotion offering both educational pricing and a free $300 pair of Beat wireless headphones with a Mac purchase. Dell, which had the slightest decline (0.4 percent), shipped 10.15 million to come in at third on the list. Nonetheless, higher component prices and inventory in some markets meant limited shipments and validated IDC assumptions about a muted third quarter.

The top five companies represented 75% of total market sales.

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". Gartner expects the DRAM shortage to continue on to the end of 2018. But any growth or continuity experienced there was offset by massive declines in the U.S. Sales here declined 10 percent year-over-year during Q3 2017.

According to Gartner, the global PC market did experience steady growth and some stabilization in key regions, including EMEA, Japan, and Latin America.

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

"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. These numbers indicate that HP has seen a 4.4% growth in this quarter, over the 13.98 million units shipped in Q3 2016, while Lenovo has witnessed a decline of 1.5% when compared with 14.57 million units they shipped in Q3 2016. Lenovo was second with 21.6 percent.

Gartner noted that HP and Lenovo are neck-and-neck, but there's more than meets the eye.

The latest decline marked the 12th consecutive quarter of PC shipments slump.

IDC, meanwhile, saw the component shortages of recent quarters continuing to improve and did not factor as a significant hindrance to production volumes by the world's largest personal computer makers.

IDC said that EMEA PC shipments only fell by 0.6 per cent annually in Q2 of this year, kept afloat by a 3.1 per cent year-on-year increase in notebook shipments.