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PC sales still slumping, but more slowly than feared

~650,000 machines still ship every day, but that's the lowest total since 2007

By Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2017

Analyst firms IDC and Gartner have emitted their quarterly assessments of the personal computer market, with both recording further sales slowdowns but also suggesting things could be worse.

Gartner reckons the world consumed 61.1 million machines, down 4.3 per cent from the same quarter in 2016.

IDC says combined desktop, notebook and workstation shipments hit 60.5 million units in the second quarter of 2017, for a year-on-year decline of 3.3 per cent. That's rather better than the firm's previous prediction of a 3.9 per cent dip.

Both analyst firms suggest that rising component prices have led to rising PC prices which has led to falling enthusiasm from buyers, especially consumers. DRAM, LCD panels and solid state disks prices all share some of the blame for the rise, as all are in short supply.

HP Inc is now both analysts' number one vendor, having achieved a couple of points of growth to take the top spot in Gartner's rankings.

Vendor IDC Q2 2017 shipments IDC Q2 market share Gartner Q2 2017 shipments Gartner Q2 market share
HP Inc 13,782 22.80% 12,690 20.80%
Lenovo 12,434 20.50% 12,188 19.90%
Dell 10,328 17.10% 9,557 15.60%
Apple 4,331 7.20% 4,236 6.90%
ASUS 4,112 6.80% 4,036 6.60%

Gartner thinks Lenovo won't mind its fall from the top spot and shedding of market share, as the firm thinks it is making a “strategic shift from unit share gains to margin protection.”

One of the few bright spots in the PC caper is the Chromebook, which IDC says helped the US market to decline less than was expected. But overall, the market is in the middle of what Gartner calls “a five year slump” characterised by an “11th straight quarter of declining shipments” that translates into “the lowest quarter volume since 2007.”

Having said all that, ~60 million shipments a quarter still means over 650,000 PCs are summoned into existence each and every day, which isn't bad! ®

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech sector. Part of Situation Publishing