In brief: In some rare good news for the industry, the PC market grew during the second quarter of 2019, thanks to more users upgrading from Windows 7 and Intel improving its supply of processors.
After spending years watching the PC market decline, there were some signs that things were getting better last year, though growth was down across 2018 as a whole. Q1 2019 was also negative, but the second quarter saw a year-over-year improvement.
According to analysts from IDC, Q2 experienced a 4.7 percent increase in traditional PC shipments. Lenovo jumped ahead of HP to become the top company, taking over a quarter of the market, while Acer was the only one of the top five firms to experience negative growth (1.7 percent).
Gartner's data isn’t quite as positive. It has YoY Q2 growth at 1.5 percent, mostly due to Acer’s downturn (14.4 percent) and a 9.9 percent decline from sixth-placed Asus.
One of the reasons for the upturn is more organizations buying new hardware as Windows 7, which is still popular among enterprise users, moves ever closer to its January 14 end-of-support date. After this point, those who want extended security updates for the aging platform will have to pay the high prices.
One of the causes of last year’s stagnant market was Intel’s manufacturing problems. With its CPU supply improving over the quarter, vendors have been able to fulfill old orders while shipping more PCs into the channels.
It appears the US-China trade war has had an effect on the market, too. "Additionally, the threat of increased tariffs led some PC makers to ship a surplus of desktops and notebooks, thereby artificially propping up the PC market during the second quarter," writes IDC.
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