Traditional PC market further stabilizes as slide slows down in Q3

Worldwide shipments of traditional PCs (desktop, notebook, workstation) totaled 67.2 million units in the third quarter of 2017 (3Q17), which translates into a slight year-over-year decline of 0.5%, according to research firm IDC.

IDC

The results were better than projections of a 1.4% decline, and further demonstrate the trend of market stabilization in recent quarters. Improvement in emerging markets as well as back-to-school promotions helped boost results.

The component shortages of recent quarters have continued to improve and did not factor as a significant hindrance to production volumes. Nonetheless, higher component prices and inventory in some markets meant limited shipments and validated IDC assumptions about a muted third quarter.

Not surprisingly, competitive pressures further cemented the dominance of the top five PC companies, which accounted for nearly 75% of the total traditional PC market.

From a geographic perspective, mature markets as well as emerging markets both struggled, with the notable exceptions of Japan and Canada, which continued to see positive growth in 3Q17, and Latin America, which rebounded after a dismal 2016 and first half of 2017.

“The traditional PC market performed much as expected in the third quarter,” said Loren Loverde, program vice president at IDC.

“Emerging markets rebounded slightly more than anticipated, but overall results reflect the stabilization we expected following component and inventory adjustments. The outlook for the fourth quarter remains cautious, likely with a small decline in volume for the quarter and the year. The gains in emerging regions and potential for more commercial replacements represent some upside potential, although we continue to expect incremental declines in total shipments for the next few years.”

“The US traditional PC market exhibited lower overall growth, contracting 3.4% in 3Q17,” said Neha Mahajan, senior research analyst at IDC.

“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.”

Company highlights

HP Inc. retained the top spot and further lengthened its lead with nearly 23% share of the market, helped in part by major wins in Asia-Pacific. HP was the only top vendor to manage a notable shipment increase with growth of 6% on the year.

Lenovo held the second position with volume holding flat at 0.1% year-over-year growth. The company continued to struggle in North America, with weak notebook sales, but also seemed to have slowed its recent decline in Asia-Pacific.

Dell remained in the third position, and grew 0.8% year over year. Dell fared well internationally, but saw declining volume in North America.

Apple kept the fourth position, keeping shipments roughly flat with growth of 0.3% year over year.

Asus retained the fifth position, but was the only company in the top 5 to decline faster than the market average.

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