PC sales hit 10-year low, but it could be worse

PC sales have continued to slump over the last 12 months, hitting a 10-year low. And while analyst firms IDC and Gartner both recorded sales slowdowns in the market, the reality was still somewhat better than the bleak predictions made by both firms earlier this year.

In its latest report Gartner said that 61.1 million shipments were made in the second quarter, down 4.3 per cent from the same quarter in 2016. Meanwhile IDC said that combined desktop, notebook and workstation shipments were down 3.3 per cent to 60.5 million units for Q2, the lowest number recorded since 2007. And while that sounds like bad news, it is still better than the firm’s previous prediction of a 3.9 per cent decline. Despite the slump, some 60 million shipments are still being made per quarter, meaning over 650,000 PCs are switched on for the first time every day.

Rising component prices are being blamed for the declining sales figures, with an inflated market dampening enthusiasm from buyers and consumers alike. Shortages – and subsequent price hikes – in DRAM, LCD panels and solid state disks are all part of the problem, according to the analysts. 

In terms of who is selling what, HP has overtaken Lenovo at the top of Gartner and IDC’s rankings. Moving more than 1,000 shipments more than Lenovo in Q2, HP now has a 22.8 per cent market share, while Lenovo commands 20.5 per cent of the market, according to IDC.

But despite losing its top spot in terms of sales, a spokesperson for Gartner said that Lenovo won’t be too concerned as it makes ‘a strategic shift from unit share gains to margin protection’.

Dell, Apple and ASUS make up the top five vendors, sharing between 25 and 35 per cent of the market depending on whether you believe IDC or Gartner’s figures. Apple rose one spot to end the quarter in fourth place with 4.24 million units shipped. That is despite the US company’s figures being down 0.4 per cent compared to last year, when the company sold 4.25 million Macs. For the quarter, Apple captured 6.9 per cent of the worldwide market, up from 6.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2016.

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