Holiday PC sales grew for the first time since 2011

Holiday PC sales grew for the first time since 2011

Chinese high-tech giant Lenovo lost further ground to worldwide PC leader HP in the final quarter of previous year, as it struggles in the face of a globally sluggish market and lack of traction for its newer mobile devices, according to new data released on Friday.

PC shipments in EMEA totaled 21.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2017, a 1.4 percent decline year over year.

Q4 shipments were 0.6% up on Q3.

While Gartner says their results are preliminary at this stage, they expressed some optimism that the market is still alive and kicking, a sentiment somewhat echoed by IDC who says the results validate the view of a steadying, albeit still weak, traditional PC market.

Do our readers think the stabilization of the PC market in 2017 was a blip or has the segment defied predictions of its eventual demise? It also claimed that organizations were shifting their attention back to notebooks, with the tablet market in a state of flux. "There was only a moderate shipment decline in EMEA", said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. PC buyers will look for quality and functionality rather than looking for the lowest price, which will increase PC average selling prices (ASPs) and improve profitability in the long run. "However, the growing popularity of other mobile form factors continued to have a dampening effect and led the overall U.S. PC market to perform below expectations".

"HP Inc moved into the No. 1 position in the fourth quarter of 2017, as its shipments grew 6.6 percent, and its market share totalled 22.5 percent (see Table 1)".

For 2017 in total, PC shipments dropped 2.8 per cent compared to 2016 at 262.5 million units. Gartner said that the United Kingdom market was "ailing", while shipments in Germany were also lower than expected in the quarter.

They also both noted flat results from Lenovo, with a global decline in sales resulting largely from weak U.S. figures, despite growth in every other region.

From a geographic perspective, the emerging regions were helped by a more favorable comparison against the tough market conditions in 2016, with Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) and Latin America both producing positive fourth quarter results.

The Asia/Pacific PC market totaled 25 million units in Q4, a 0.6 percent increase. The consumer market stabilized with fourth-quarter online promotions in many countries, which drove demand for gaming PCs and thin and light notebooks. "However, the overall PC market remains a challenging one". It was the 13th consecutive quarter of declining global PC shipments, as well as the sixth year of annual declines. As the PC industry continues to consolidate, the top four vendors in 2017 accounted for 64 percent of global PC shipments.

Premium laptops and 2-in-1 devices were also common at the show this year, indicating that companies are indeed returning their energy to the notebook market to appeal to professionals, and expanding their slim, convertible, and gaming system offerings, as IDC noted in the report. Lenovo remained flat as the second PC vendor, followed by Dell, Apple, ASUS, and Acer.

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