Global PC shipments continue to fall, but Dell shows encouraging growth

midian182

Posts: 6,076   +50
Staff member

Two big research firms have released their regular reports showing the state of the global PC market this past quarter—and the news isn’t great. IDC’s more positive data shows YoY shipments completely flat, while Gartner says the industry has declined for the fourteenth quarter in a row.

Gartner has PC shipments falling 1.4 percent to 61.7 million units in Q1 2018. Out of the top six companies, it was only Asus and Acer that saw declines, but their drops were so high that they dragged the total into negative figures. A couple of bright spots came from Dell, which was up 6.5 percent, and an ‘others’ section that went up 6.6 percent.

Gartner notes that the top three vendors—HP, Lenovo, and Dell—accounted for 56.9 percent of all shipments. It’s thought that updates to Dell systems such as the excellent XPS 13 contributed to its impressive growth, as did the popularity of its Alienware gaming line.

HP continues to lead the pack, with Lenovo close behind. Apple, which had growth of 1.5 percent, sits above the two companies with negative growth. It’s worth noting that Gartner’s data includes desktops, notebooks, and ultramobile premiums (including Microsoft Surface) but not Chromebooks or iPads.

There are a few differences in IDC’s report, including the overall market being flat instead of in decline. The top three remain the same, though HP has higher growth and Lenovo is flat. But the most significant change is Apple, which IDC claims has seen its YoY shipments fall 4.8 percent. The ‘others’ section is also in negative figures—minus 3.9 percent.

Analysts blame several factors on the declines. China was a major contributor: government agencies and big businesses have put off new purchases and upgrades following the National People’s Congress and the resulting new policies and reassignments. Unsurprisingly, component shortages and spiraling material prices also played a part.

“The component shortage that initially impacted portions of 2017 led some vendors to stock up inventory to avoid expected component price hikes, and that led to some concerns of excess stock that would be hard to digest in subsequent quarters,” said IDC research manager Jay Chou, in a statement. “However, the market is continuing on a resilient path that should see modest commercial momentum through 2020.”

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CrazyDave

Posts: 47   +40
This isn't particularly surprising.

The PC market has reached it's saturation limit a few years back already. There are only so many devices that are needed. Sales now are not really for expansion, apart from standard growth, but more for maintenance and replacement of old systems. It's not doom and gloom, it's normal. Once everyone has something, they don't need to purchase it again until there is sufficient value to doing so.
 
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Puiu

Posts: 4,074   +2,622
This isn't particularly surprising.

The PC market has reached it's saturation limit a few years back already. There are only so many devices that are needed. Sales now are not really for expansion, apart from standard growth, but more for maintenance and replacement of old systems. It's not doom and gloom, it's normal. Once everyone has something, they don't need to purchase it again until there is sufficient value to doing so.
The biggest reason is the hardware innovation and performance stagnation beyond the high end market and the very high prices of components.
There will never be "saturation" if we see good reasons to upgrade the hardware (be it from bigger software needs or important hardware advancements). Right now even at the lower end spectrum of the PC market performance is "good enough" (we are seeing the same trend with smartphones too).
 

pkroliko1

Posts: 18   +5
While I do think saturation is certainly part of it, I think Asus and Acer have worse products relative to the competition on a price to price basis. HP,Dell, and Lenovo tend to have some pretty nice laptops that you can get for under a $1000 and have built up at least somewhat of a name for themselves.
 
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merikafyeah

Posts: 164   +116
This was dangerously close to being yet another one of those "The PC is Dead" type of article. I find myself genuinely amused by just how many such articles have been written over the years. It's almost as if analysts have short memories.