HP Lone PC Maker to Defy Worldwide PC Sales Slowdown in Third Quarter

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HP Lone PC Maker to Defy Worldwide PC Sales Slowdown in Third Quarter

On Oct. 10, researchers IDC and Gartner separately released their findings for worldwide PC market performance for the 2017 third quarter. By nearly every measure worldwide PC shipments were disappointing as the industry continues to struggle with declining sales. While their data varied due to the way they estimated shipments, both agreed that year-over-year PC shipments were down. In fact, it was a troubling period for most PC vendors, with HP proving to be the one computer maker that showed a significant increase in sales. Even Apple, which has been gaining significant market share with its Macs, produced only a small gain during the quarter. This slide show will look at the PC shipment numbers and discuss why so few companies performed well during the period.

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HP Leads the Way

HP’s performance was strong in all regions but the U.S., where shipments were down, according to Gartner. IDC: HP shipped 15.3 million units and captured 22.8 percent market share, a 6 percent gain on the third quarter of 2016. Gartner: HP shipped 14.6 million units in Gartner’s estimate, giving the company 21.8 percent share and a 4.4 percent year-over-year shipment jump.

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Lenovo Struggled With Weak Notebook Shipments

Lenovo’s troubles centered on notebooks, where shipments were “weak,” IDC said. Gartner added that Lenovo also had trouble attracting U.S. customers. IDC: Lenovo’s shipments were up 0.1 percent in the third quarter to 14.5 million units, earning the company 21.6 percent market share. Gartner: Lenovo was able to muster 14.4 million units shipped in the third quarter, earning 21.4 percent share. Gartner believes Lenovo’s shipments declined 1.5 percent year over year.

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IDC, Gartner Differ Sharply on Dell PC Shipment Estimates

Dell performed “well” in international markets but couldn’t keep pace in the U.S., IDC reported. IDC: Dell’s shipments were up 0.8 percent to 10.8 million units, giving the company 16.1 percent share. Gartner: Gartner said that Dell shipped 10.2 million PCs in the third quarter, a 0.4 percent decline. Its market share hovered at 15.2 percent in Gartner’s study.

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Gartner Reports Apple Mac Shipments Dropped Significantly

Garter found that Apple Mac shipments declined 5.6 percent year over year while IDC estimated that Apple eked out a 0.3 percent increase. IDC: Apple could only muster a 0.3 percent shipment increase year over year, on 4.9 million units. Its market share stood at 7.3 percent. Gartner: Apple Mac shipments hit 4.6 million units last quarter, representing a 5.6 percent year-over-year decline. Its market share hovered at 6.9 percent in Gartner’s study.

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Asus PC Sales Fall Off a Cliff

Asus was the only company in the studies whose shipments declined faster than the market average, according to IDC. The future doesn’t look bright for the company's PC business. IDC: Asus rounded out the top five in IDC’s study with 4.2 million shipments—a 14.6 percent year-over-year decline. Asus has 6.2 percent market share. Gartner: Gartner estimates Asus shipped 4.9 million units, giving it 7.3 percent share. Shipments were down 9 percent year over year, according to the researcher.

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Acer's PC Shipments Dropped 2.3 Percent Among the Smaller Makers

Acer was one of the hardest hit among those not in the top five. The company saw its year-over-year shipments fall 6.2 percent to 4.3 million units. IDC: All the others, including Acer, saw a collective shipment drop of 2.3 percent year over year, earning them 26 percent market share on 17.5 million units shipped. Gartner: All the others in Gartner’s study shipped only 14.1 million units, giving them 21 percent share. Their shipments were off 11.4 percent.

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PC Makers Shipped an Estimated 67 Million PCs in the Quarter

Overall, the worldwide market was hurt by a host of problems including higher prices, which perhaps resulted in weaker sales to back-to-school shoppers. But Google’s Chromebooks were a silver lining and saw shipments rise during the period. IDC: Overall, the PC market shipped 67.2 million units, a 0.5 percent decline compared to the same period in 2016. Gartner: Gartner estimates that PC makers shipped 67 million units last quarter, representing a 3.6 percent decline compared to the third quarter of 2016.

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No Sign of PC Sales Recovery in U.S.

The U.S. suffered its fourth straight year-over-year decline during the period. And both researchers fear the trend could continue, with increased price pressure on vendors and customers. IDC: U.S. PC shipments in the third quarter hit 16.6 million units, according to IDC. Gartner: In the U.S., Gartner estimates there were 14.7 million PC shipments, a 10.3 percent downturn compared to the third quarter of 2016.

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Corporate Buyers Are Driving PC Sales

Consumers are proving to be a drag on PC sales while corporate users are bolstering sales. Gartner said companies increasingly are buying new PCs to upgrade to Windows 10. Currently, small and midsized businesses are the most likely to buy new PCs.

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Increasing Component Prices Causing Problems

Looking ahead, the PC market could be hobbled by pricing issues. According to the researchers, RAM is in short supply, causing suppliers to increase their prices. PC makers, in turn, are passing on those costs to their customers. Gartner believes the RAM supply problems will continue through 2018.

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