PC market fares better than expected in Q2 as Asus overtakes Acer

Worldwide shipments of traditional PCs (desktop, notebook, workstation) totaled 60.5 million units in the second quarter of 2017 (2Q17), posting a year-on-year decline of 3.3%, according to analyst firm IDC.

PC vendors

The results tilted just above the previous forecast that called for a decline of 3.9%, and hewed to the expectation that unlike past seasonal patterns of significant positive sequential growth, second quarter volume showed only a modest uptick from the first quarter.

Whereas one factor affecting shipments during the past several quarters was an inventory buildup caused by shortages of key components such as SSD (solid state drive), the second quarter operated under less harsh constraints, though in some instances component shortages still played a role in driving shipment dynamics.

Moreover, as expected, the increased bill of materials (BOM) cost due to the shortage also began to impact the final price of systems, which was also factored into IDC’s original assumption of inhibiting shipments.

From a geographic perspective, mature markets generally outperformed emerging markets, with Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) and Latin America in particular showing weakness, though Latin America did outperform IDC’s original forecast.

The US posted just a slight decline but otherwise also pulled ahead of forecast in part due to Chromebook activity. Japan again posted positive growth, in part against the backdrop of tough market conditions in 2015 through the first half of 2016.

“Amid some unevenness in market trends across the regions, the global PC market has continued to trend toward stabilization,” said Jay Chou, research manager at IDC.

“Despite recent issues wrought by component shortages and its effect on system prices, we expect the momentum of commercial market replacements will contribute to eventual market growth. Consumer demand will remain under pressure, although growth in areas like PC gaming and the increasingly attractive portfolio of sleek Windows-based systems will help push the consumer market to stabilize as well.”

Vendor highlights

HP Inc. retained the top spot for the second quarter in a row, hitting a new high mark for market share at nearly 23%, with aggressive growth in virtually all regions. Lenovo held the second position but shrank 5.7% globally, as it saw significant slowing in North America but still managed to grow its notebook business overall.

Dell took the third position, growing 3.7% year over year, and continuing its positive growth in every region with strong notebook volume. Apple kept the fourth position and grew 1.7% year over year, while Asus regained the fifth position, overtaking Acer.

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