PC Sales Decline Worldwide For 12th Consecutive Quarter

STAMFORD, Conn. – For the 12th consecutive quarter, Personal Computer shipments declined worldwide. The latest downturn was for the third quarter of 2017, when 67 million units were shipped, down 3.6 percent from the year before.

“While there were signs of stabilization in the PC industry in key regions, including EMEA, Japan and Latin America, the relatively stable results were offset by the U.S. market, which saw a 10 percent year-over-year decline in part because of a very weak back-to-school sales season,” said Mika Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “Business PC demand, led by Windows 10 upgrades, continued to drive PC shipments across all regions, but its refresh schedule varies by region. The countries with stable economies, such as the U.S., have created a positive sentiment among businesses, especially for small and midsized businesses (SMBs), which are more vulnerable to external events, such as economic or political.”

There are ongoing component shortages, with DRAM shortages getting particularly worse during the third quarter of the year compared with the first half of 2017.

“The component price hike impacted the consumer PC market as most vendors generally pass the price hike on to consumers, rather than absorbing the cost themselves,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “We expect the DRAM shortage to continue to the end of 2018, but it will not be reflected in the final PC prices immediately.”

In the third quarter of 2017, HP Inc. and Lenovo were in a virtual tie for the top spot in the PC market based on shipments. However, HP Inc. is in an upward trend, as it has experienced five consecutive quarter of global PC growth, while Lenovo is in a downward trend with declining shipments in eight of the last 10 quarters.

Table 1
Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q17 (Thousands of Units)


Company

3Q17 Shipments

3Q17 Market Share (%)

3Q16 Shipments

3Q16 Market Share (%)

3Q17-3Q16 Growth (%)

HP Inc.

14,592

21.8

13,983

20.1

4.4

Lenovo

14,356

21.4

14,576

21.0

-1.5

Dell

10,154

15.2

10,194

14.7

-0.4

Asus

4,892

7.3

5,373

7.7

-9.0

Apple

4,613

6.9

4,886

7.0

-5.6

Acer Group

4,323

6.5

4,610

6.6

-6.2

Others

14,077

21.0

15,889

22.9

-11.4

Total

67,005

100.0

69,510

100.0

-3.6

Notes: Data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs and ultramobile premiums (such as Microsoft Surface), but not Chromebooks or iPads. All data is estimated based on a preliminary study. Final estimates will be subject to change. The statistics are based on shipments selling into channels. Numbers may not add up to totals shown due to rounding.

Source: Gartner (October 2017)

HP Inc. experienced growth in all key regions, except the U.S. market. The company experienced double-digit growth in Latin America, while in Asia/Pacific HP Inc. secured positive growth for the fifth consecutive quarter. Lenovo experienced its steepest year-over-year decline of PC shipments in the U.S. since it acquired the IBM PC business division in 2005. Lenovo continues to face the dilemma of market share gains versus profitability. It appears the company is putting more emphasis on profitability than share gain. Dell’s worldwide PC shipments were slightly down compared with a year ago, as it registered its first year-over-year shipment decline since the first quarter of 2016.

In the U.S., PC shipments totaled 14.7 million units in the third quarter of 2017, a 10.3 percent decline from the third quarter of 2016 (see Table 2). It was the fourth consecutive quarter of declining PC shipments.

“Weak back-to-school sales were further evidence that traditional consumer PC demand drivers for PCs are no longer effective,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “Business PC demand is stable in the U.S., but demand could slow down among SMBs due to PC price increases due to component shortages.”

Table 2
Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q17 (Thousands of Units)


Company

3Q17 Shipments

3Q17 Market Share (%)

3Q16 Shipments

3Q16 Market Share (%)

3Q17-3Q16 Growth (%)

HP Inc.

4,664

31.6

4,793

29.2

-2.7

Dell

3,772

25.6

3,994

24.3

-5.6

Apple

1,880

12.8

2,035

12.4

-7.6

Lenovo

1,799

12.2

2,407

14.7

-25.2

Asus

643

4.4

825

5.0

-22.0

Others

1,981

13.4

2,369

14.4

-16.4

Total

14,740

100.0

16,423

100.0

-10.3

Notes: Data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs and ultramobile premiums (such as Microsoft Surface), but not Chromebooks or iPads. All data is estimated based on a preliminary study. Final estimates will be subject to change. The statistics are based on shipments selling into channels. Numbers may not add up to totals shown due to rounding.

Source: Gartner (October 2017)

For more information, visit www.gartner.com.