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 totaled 22.5 percent (see Table 1). "This does not mean that PCs will disappear from households", noted Kitagawa. For the year, shipments decreased by 2.8 percent to Dollars 262.5 million. However, IDC analysts view this as a sign that the market is steadying out, pointing to 2017 as the most stable year for the market since 2011.
Worldwide shipments of PCs amounted to 71.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, down two percent compared to the same quarter in 2016.
By region, The United States saw a decline in PC shipments, including a drop in both desktop and notebook sales.
These figures were echoed by IDC, which says the APeJ traditional PC market came in above their forecast in Q4 2017, with healthy demand for gaming PCs in Chinese markets bolstered by strong sales during the singles day promotion. It was the 13th consecutive quarter of declining global PC shipments, as well as the sixth year of annual declines. As the PC market has been on a decline in recent years, this marks the first growth for the holiday quarter in six years, IDC says. The US continues to show steep declines, offsetting gains elsewhere.
Which companies are on top?
With a market share of 22.5 per cent, HP Inc. retained the top spot in the global PC market in the fourth quarter of 2017 even as shipments continued to decline, market research firm Gartner said on Friday.
Kitagawa adds, "The top vendors have taken advantage of their volume operations to lower production costs, pushing small to midsize vendors out of the market".
In terms of manufacturers, HP represented the biggest share of the pie, taking a 23.5 percent share of the worldwide market in terms of shipments. Lenovo had moderate growth in EMEA and Asia/Pacific, but shipments declined in North America. "However, the overall PC market remains a challenging one".
According to IDC, market demand was driven by a desire from PC suppliers to snap up machines before components shortages drive up prices further.
Kitagawa adds that while the market is complicated, PCs aren't dead yet.
"The fourth quarter results showed some potentially encouraging headway against the hard environment in retail and consumer PCs", Jay Chou, research manager with IDC's Personal Computing Device Tracker, said in a press release.
"PC buyers will look for quality and functionality rather than looking for the lowest price, which will increase PC average selling prices and improve profitability in the long run".